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.