MAY 03, 2020 12:00 AM PDT

New genes targeted for anti-cancer therapies

Research published in the journal Genome Biology reports the discovery of two overlooked genes that have the potential to be targets for cancer therapies. The findings come from a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of RNA modification proteins in over 13,000 tumors. 

The research was conducted by scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona who analyzed RNA modification proteins (RMPs) in 32 tissues, 10 species, and 13,358 paired tumor-normal human samples. RMPs add or remove chemical groups to RNA sequences, thus influencing how genetic code is copied from DNA; previous investigations have shown that as many as one hundred different human diseases are linked to defects in the RNA modification process. 

Thanks to the emerging field of epitranscriptomics, which studies how and where RNA is modified, the researchers were able to identify that across the diversity of tissues and tumors, RMP expression hugely varies. 

In particular, the results showed that 27% of all known human RMPs were dysregulated in cancers. Two genes, HENMT1 and LAGE3, were found to be the most frequently over-expressed genes in many diverse cancer types. This discovery has implications for future anti-cancer therapies that target these genes. 

 Source: Pixabay

"Here we provide a short-list of RMPs that constitute promising drug targets in specific cancer types. We hope our work will inspire new lines of research in anti-tumoral therapies," says lead author Eva Novoa is a researcher at the Centre for Genomic Regulation. "We already have important drugs like FTO inhibitors that use the machinations of RNA modification to treat cancer. It's exciting to point to several other overlooked pathways that could be future therapeutic targets."

"Our next steps are studying the role of RNA modification in transmitting diet-induced metabolic disorders from one generation to the next," concludes Eva. "Understanding how environmental information is converted into molecular information in sperm RNAs, and then transmit across generations, is the next exciting and unanswered question."

The findings from this study also pointed researchers to identify potential new therapeutic targets for male infertility.

Sources: Genome Biology, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
MAY 18, 2021
Cancer
New guidelines change screening age for colorectal cancer to 45
MAY 18, 2021
New guidelines change screening age for colorectal cancer to 45
Following new guideline changes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), individuals with an average risk ...
JUN 09, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Faster, Cheaper Diagnosis of Rare Cancer in Fat Cells
JUN 09, 2021
Faster, Cheaper Diagnosis of Rare Cancer in Fat Cells
Scientists have created a gene panel test to quickly and more precisely diagnose common forms of liposarcoma. This break ...
JUN 24, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Test Lets Cancer Patients Track Whether Their Treatment Is Working in Real Time
JUN 24, 2021
Test Lets Cancer Patients Track Whether Their Treatment Is Working in Real Time
Researchers from Singapore have created the ExoSCOPE, the world’s first blood test for tracking whether or not a p ...
JUL 12, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Molecule From the Gut Microbiome May Fight Tumors
JUL 12, 2021
A Molecule From the Gut Microbiome May Fight Tumors
The more we learn abut the gut microbiome, the more it seems that the microorganisms in our gastrointestinal tracts can ...
JUL 26, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A Region of Non-Coding DNA That May Help Regulate Telomere Length is ID'ed
JUL 26, 2021
A Region of Non-Coding DNA That May Help Regulate Telomere Length is ID'ed
Many types of cells have to be replenished continuously throughout our lives, and the genome in the nucleus of those cel ...
AUG 23, 2021
Cancer
A Safe and Effective Combination Therapy for Advanced Cancer
AUG 23, 2021
A Safe and Effective Combination Therapy for Advanced Cancer
Immunotherapies are emerging as a promising strategy for the treatment of late-stage cancers which currently have m ...
Loading Comments...