New findings on RNA processing

Layman’s road map to recent research publication

By SANDY MANISCALCO

Following is an introduction to a recent publication in Cell Reports, describing findings on RNA processing dysregulation in breast cancer, funded in part by the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation.

2013 grant recipient, Olga Anczukow, PhD, explained this research with the support of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation began when she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and that finished it at her independent lab at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT.

Anczukow summarizes that work in a brief note to the foundation’s scientific advisory board chair, Nick Saccomano. We discovered that dysregulation of RNA processing occurs in more than half of cancer patients. In particular we identified three proteins that are frequently upregulated and lead to changes in RNA processing that help the cells to grow and migrate faster. One of these proteins, TRA2B, is associated with triple negative breast cancer, a tumor subtype which lacks targeted therapies and is very aggressive. We show that targeting TRA2B can prevent cells from forming metastasis in mouse models. Based on these findings, we hope in the future to develop novel cancer therapies by targeting TRA2B or other proteins that control RNA processing. ~Olga Anczukow

Read the publication.

For all of us laypersons out there, following are definitions for DNA and RNA

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material which is present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.

RNA is ribonucleic acid, a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its principal role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of proteins, although in some viruses’ RNA rather than DNA carries the genetic information.

 

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