Published Date : May 10, 2016
Micro-RNAs are a very recently discovered non-coding RNA class that hold important footholds in gene expression and its regulation at a level that is post-transcriptional. Perhaps at least 30% of all mammalian genes that constitute protein encoding may be regulated by microRNAs. The microRNAs that are mature are usually single-stranded and short. These RNA molecules are nearly 22 nucleotides long. There are even instances of microRNA encoding done through different loci. In this case, the microRNAs are found in clusters that are co-scribed in tandem.
MicroRNAs are an important part of all eukaryotic cells and also hold an important part in gene expression. Therefore, microRNAs can be used in interference drug discovery projects, where the therapeutic uses of microRNA advancements could extend to even the currently incurable diseases. At the top of this list of diseases are AIDS and cancer, namely leukemia. These diseases are a major challenge to the modern healthcare sector and the global microRNA market could hold the solution against them.
Novel Tech Against Cancer
Cancer research forms the crux of most studies that currently revolve around microRNAs. The researchers are trying to find biological pathways that can help regulate gene expression artificially. This could prove to be one of the first real steps taken against tumorigenesis. The molecular mechanisms that are housed in microRNAs can provide therapeutic solutions against particularly aggressive cancers. New findings from the University of Cincinnati have revealed mir-22, a specific signaling route for microRNAs that could provide solid leads against acute myeloid leukemia. AML is known as the most aggressive type of blood and bone marrow related cancer. These findings have been recently published and show the potency of mir-22 in anti-tumor positions.
AML is caused when the bone marrow starts to generate blast cells that are immature. Blast cells end up forming white blood cells and the immature blast cells are not able to do that. As a result, the cells cannot fully develop in order to fight incoming infections. According to the researchers, they forced the expression of mir-22 which showed complications in the growth and development of leukemia cells, essentially stopping them from spreading.