MicroRNA molecule found to be a potent tumor-suppressor in lung cancer

September 16, 2013

New research shows that microRNA-486 is a potent tumor-suppressor molecule in lung cancer, and that the it helps regulate the proliferation and migration of lung-cancer cells, and the induction of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in those cells.

The preclinical study was led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). It found that microRNA-486 (miR-486) directly targets the insulin growth-factor pathway, which is important for and proliferation. Alternations in the pathway are believed to play an early role in and progression.

The researchers further found that miR-486 is itself regulated by the tumor-suppressor , the most frequently altered gene in human cancers, and that activity of miR-486 is partially dependent upon functional p53.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study suggests that miR-486 might serve as a biomarker for lung-cancer patients who might respond to treatment with insulin-growth-factor inhibitors.

"It wasn't known whether miR-486 functioned as an oncogene or a tumor-suppressor gene in lung cancer," says co-corresponding author Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD, associate professor of medicine and a researcher with the OSUCCC – James Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program.

"miR-486 appears to be a biomarker for lung cancer, but its mechanisms of action remain unclear," he says. "These findings show that miR-486 serves a tumor-suppressor function in lung cancer, and that miR-486 action is partially dependent on p53."

"This partial reliance of one tumor-suppressor on another was a surprise," says principal investigator and co-corresponding author Carlo M. Croce, MD, director of Ohio State's Human Cancer Genetics program and the John W. Wolfe Chair in Human Cancer Genetics at the OSUCCC – James. "We don't know yet what implications, if any, this might have for the development of targeted therapies."

MicroRNAs are a class of short, non-coding RNAs that regulate the translation or degradation of messenger RNA and therefore the proteins that cells make. Research is showing that certain microRNAs are frequently dysregulated in cancer.

Nana-Sinkam and his colleagues examined lung-tumor samples from 81 patients with stage-1 nonsmall-cell lung cancer and tumor-cell lines. Analyses identified miR-486 as the most decreased of microRNAs in the cells, so the researchers chose it for further investigation.

Explore further: Loss of MicroRNA decoy might contribute to development of soft-tissue sarcoma

Related Stories

Loss of MicroRNA decoy might contribute to development of soft-tissue sarcoma

August 7, 2013
Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism responsible for the loss of a critical tumor-suppressor gene in rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft-tissue sarcomas, rare cancers that strike mainly children and often respond poorly ...

Researchers say one specific microrna promotes tumor growth and cancer spread

April 3, 2013
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have determined that the overexpression of microRNA-155 (miR-155), a short, single strand of ribonucleic acid encoded by the miR-155 host gene, promotes the growth of blood vessels in ...

Study reveals mechanism of lung-cancer drug resistance

January 19, 2012
New research published in Nature Medicine indicates that targeted drugs such as gefitinib might more effectively treat non-small cell lung cancer if they could be combined with agents that block certain microRNAs.

Scientists detail critical role of gene in many lung cancer cases

August 29, 2013
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown that a well-known cancer-causing gene implicated in a number of malignancies plays a far more critical role in non-small cell lung cancer, ...

Genetic switch shuts down lung cancer tumors in mice

October 25, 2012
Yale researchers manipulated a tiny genetic switch and halted growth of aggressive lung cancer tumors in mice and even prevented tumors from forming.

MicroRNA molecule may serve as biomarker, target for brain metastases in breast cancer patients

February 5, 2013
Researchers have identified two molecules that could potentially serve as biomarkers in predicting brain metastases in patients with breast cancer, according to data published in Cancer Research, a publication of the American ...

Recommended for you

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

July 24, 2017
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

July 24, 2017
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

0 comments

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.