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Researcher targets gene regulators on link between arsenic, cancer
Date:7/14/2010

icroRNA has the ability to regulate more than 100 gene functions, playing an important role in cell behavior and whether cells function normally or potentially change to a cancerous cell," Yang said. "More than one-third of all human genes are believed to be regulated by microRNAs, and when microRNA levels are too high or too low, they disrupt the normal function of cells and lead to disease."

Uncovering how microRNAs react to carcinogens and lead to tumor development could help researchers discover biomarkers and identify people who may be more prone to develop tumors.

"With this information, we could potentially diagnose and treat people much sooner," Yang said.

As part of his project, Yang also will investigate the role of two genes called ZEB1 and ZEB2 in this process, because the appearance of these two genes can cause the depletion of miRNA-200b and miRNA-200c. He will further examine the role of these two genes in arsenic-induced tumors by studying mice with the ZEB1 and ZEB2 genes removed.


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Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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