MicroRNAs as tumor suppressors

Apr 16, 2007

In the May 1st issue of Genes & Development, Drs. Yong Sun Lee and Anindya Dutta (UVA) reveal that microRNAs can function as tumor suppressors in vitro.

"Overexpression of HMGA2 is an important feature of many medically important tumors like uterine fibroids,” explains Dr. Dutta. “It is very exciting to realize that microRNAs have an important role in suppressing the overexpression of HMGA2, and so may have a role in the causation and perhaps the cure of a disease that is responsible for the vast majority of hysterectomies in the Western world."

Studying chromosomal HMGA2 translocations that are associated with human tumors, the researchers found that in normal cells, a microRNA called let-7 binds to the 3’ end of the HMGA2 mRNA transcript and suppresses its expression in the cell cytosol. However, chromosomal breaks that shorten the 3’ end of the HMGA2 transcript, and prevent let-7 binding, result in aberrantly high levels of HMGA2 expression and tumorigenesis. This paper establishes that HMGA2 is a target of let-7, and that the let-7 microRNA functions as a tumor suppressor to prevent cancer formation in healthy cells.

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Explore further: Newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise

3 hours ago

Scientists at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology have discovered a new hormone that fights the weight gain caused by a high-fat Western diet and normalizes the metabolism - effects commonly associated ...

Highly sensitive detection of malaria parasites

5 hours ago

New assays can detect malaria parasites in human blood at very low levels and might be helpful in the campaign to eradicate malaria, reports a study published this week in PLOS Medicine. An international team l ...

How fat breakdown contributes to insulin resistance

11 hours ago

New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine has shed light on how chronic stress and obesity may contribute to type 2 diabetes. The findings point the finger at an unexpected biological perpetrator – ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.