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MICRO RNA AND PANCREAS CANCER

SMALL BITS OF DNA-RELATED MATERIAL IMPACT CANCER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Among the collection of genetically related materials in a cell are something called micro-RNAs.  Josh Mendell and colleagues at Johns Hopkins have found a specific reduction in some of those micro-RNAs related to a common DNA mutation in pancreatic cancer.

MENDELL: In pancreatic cancer the gene that’s mutated in almost every case is called k-ras.  When k-ras becomes mutated it activates a number of things in cells that turn them into cancer cells.  So we asked the question when k-ras is mutated in pancreatic cancer cells does it affect the micro-RNA genes that are made, and if so, do those changes affect the formation of tumors?  So we found that when the k-ras oncogene is mutated, one specific micro-RNA gene called the mir 143-145 cluster is turned off.   :32

Micro-RNAs may be a logical candidate for restoration to interrupt the process of pancreatic cancer development.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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