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Study shows how inflammation can lead to cancer
Date:4/19/2011

the outer walls of bacteria) on miR-155 expression and on the frequency of spontaneous mutations in several breast-cancer cell lines.

When the researchers exposed breast-cancer cells to the two inflammatory factors the levels of miR-155 rose abnormally high, and the mutation rate increased two- to three-fold. To understand why, the investigators focused on the WEE1 gene, which stops the process of cell division to allow damaged DNA to be repaired.

The investigators learned that miR-155 also targets WEE1 and showed that high levels of miR-155 lead to low levels of WEE1. They reasoned that low levels of WEE1 allowed cell division to continue even when DNA damage is present, leading to a growing number of mutations.

"It is believed that cancer is caused by an accumulation of mutations in cells of the body," says principal investigator Dr. Carlo M. Croce, professor and chair of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and director of the Human Cancer Genetics program the OSUCCC James. "Our study suggests that miR-155, which is associated with inflammation, increases the mutation rate and might be a key player in inflammation-induced cancers generally. This could make it an important therapeutic target."


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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
Darrell.Ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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