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Rosetta Genomics and Weizmann Institute Scientists Identify Role of,microRNA in Cancer Suppression

e have been able to show that the overexpression of this specific microRNA is directly linked to tumor suppression. Moreover, the results suggest the potential that a synthetic miR-34a-like agent could be used as a cancer therapy. We strongly believe this research continues to validate the opportunities for microRNA-based therapeutics."

"Demonstrating how p53 utilizes microRNAs to stop the growth of tumor cells through facilitating apoptosis, sheds much light on this critical cancer fighting pathway," said Prof. Moshe Oren of the Weizmann Institute, Principal Investigator of this study. "MicroRNAs have been shown to be involved in the most important cellular processes including apoptosis, and this study helps us better understand their important role in the tumor suppression mechanism."

About p53 Tumor Suppressor

The p53 protein, also known as tumor protein 53 (TP53), is a transcription factor that functions as a major tumor suppressor in mammals. p53 has been described as "the guardian of the genome" referring to its role in maintaining stability by preventing genome mutation. p53 is activated in response to a variety of stress signals, dictating a variety of biochemical and biological outcomes, ranging from effective repair of minor damage to arresting cell cycle progression and induction of apoptotic cell death. Inactivation of the tumor suppressing function of p53 is one of the most frequent genetic alterations in human cancer, and close to half of all human tumors carry p53 gene mutations within their cells. As a transcription factor, p53 can increase or repress the transcription of many hundreds of protein-encoding genes, and this ability is believed to underlie in great part its tumor suppressor functions.

About microRNAs

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered, naturally occurring form of RNAi. These small RNAs act as protein regulators and have the potential to form the basis for a new class of diagnostics and therape
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