Restoring the expression of certain microRNAs (miRNAs) that are lost as breast cancer starts to metastasize suppresses the spread of the cancer, reports a paper in Nature.
Joan Massagué and colleagues identify a set of miRNAs that stop being expressed as human breast cancer cells develop metastatic potential. They then demonstrate that restoring the expression of this miRNA set in malignant cells suppresses lung and bone metastasis.
One in particular, miR-126, reduces overall tumour growth when restored, and another, miR-335, regulates a set of genes that increase the risk of metastasis. The association with metastatic relapse suggests that these molecules could be used in better prognosis for patients.
Joan Massagué (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York, NY, USA)
(C) Nature press release.
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