Mutations in noncoding genes could play big role in regulating cancer, study finds

Professor Kannanganattu Prasanth led a team that found that certain genes that don’t code for proteins could play an important regulatory role in breast cancer.

RNA transcribed from genes that seem not to code for anything may play an important role in regulating cancer, a new study suggests.

A number of these noncoding RNA fragments lie next to known cancer genes, the study found. Understanding how they interact with those cancer genes could open new avenues to understanding cancer’s behavior and treating it.

Led by Kannanganattu Prasanth, a University of Illinois cell and developmental biology professor, the researchers found that a certain breast cancer tumor suppressor gene needs the RNA transcribed from its opposite DNA strand to function in healthy cells. They published their work in the journal PLOS Genetics.

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March 14, 2019 All News