Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Small Non-coding RNAs Could be Warning Signs of Cancer

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Results are published in EMBO reports.

Small non-coding RNAs can be used to predict if individuals have breast cancer conclude researchers who contribute to The Cancer Genome Atlas project. The results, which are published in EMBO reports, indicate that differences in the levels of specific types of non-coding RNAs can be used to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues.

These RNAs can also be used to classify cancer patients into subgroups of individuals that have different survival outcomes.

Small non-coding RNAs are RNA molecules that do not give rise to proteins but which may have other important functions in the cell.

“For many years, small non-coding RNAs near transcriptional start sites have been regarded as ‘transcriptional noise’ due to their apparent chaotic distribution and an inability to correlate these molecules with known functions or disease,” explains Steven Jones, one of the lead authors of the study, a professor at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, and a distinguished scientist at the BC Cancer Agency.

“By using a computational approach to analyze small RNA sequence information that we generated as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas project, we have been able to filter through this noise to find clinically useful information,” adds Jones. “The data from our experiments show that genome-wide changes in the expression levels of small non-coding RNAs in the first exons of protein-coding genes are associated with breast cancer.”

The scientists were able to distinguish between the many different small non-coding RNAs that are found near the transcriptional start sites of genes in healthy individuals and patients with breast cancer (in this case, breast invasive carcinoma).

They mapped these RNA molecules to specific locations on the DNA sequence and looked for correlations between the non-coding RNAs that were strongly expressed and the disease status of the patients from whom the tissue samples were isolated.

The researchers then tested if the expression of the small RNAs in genomic locations that they were able to identify could be used to predict the presence of disease in another group of tissue samples obtained from patients known to have breast cancer. The test efficiently predicted the correct disease status for the samples in the new study group.

“The potential to predict cancer status is restricted to only a subset of the many small non-coding RNAs found near transcription start sites of the genes. What’s more, these RNA locations are highly enriched with CpG islands,” says Athanasios Zovoilis, the first author of the study.

CpG islands are genomic regions that contain a high frequency of cytosine and guanine. The presence of these RNAs in these islands may implicate their involvement with DNA methylation processes and the onset of disease but additional experiments are needed to explore and prove this link.

“This is the first time that small non-coding RNAs near the transcription start site of genes have been associated with disease,” says Jones. “Further work is required but based on our data we believe there is considerable diagnostic potential for these small non-coding RNAs as a predictive tool for cancer. In addition, they may help us understand better the mechanisms underlying oncogenesis at the epigenetic level and lead to potential new drugs employing small non-coding RNAs.” The researchers also note that this class of small non-coding RNAs may be useful in predicting the existence of other types of cancer or disease.

The generation of data by The Cancer Genome Atlas project, which now provides access to large amounts of sequencing information for diseased and normal tissues, made the work possible. The Cancer Genome Atlas is now one of the largest resources for small non-coding RNAs in existence.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Systems-Wide Genetic Investigation Of Blood Pressure Regulation
A genetic investigation of individuals in the Framingham Heart Study may prove useful to identify novel targets for the prevention or treatment of high blood pressure.
Friday, April 17, 2015
EMBO, EMBC and the National Science Council of Taiwan Sign Cooperation Agreement
New ways of global scientific interaction have been created following a cooperation agreement between EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC), and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC).
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Scientific News
ReadCoor Launched to Commercialize 3D Sequencing Tech
ReadCoor will leverage the Wyss Institute’s method for simultaneously sequencing and mapping RNAs within cells and tissues to advance development of diagnostics.
NCI Collaborates with Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
NCI collaborates with MMRF to incorporate genomic and clinical data into NCI Genomic Data Commons database.
Modified Yeast Shows Plant Response to Key Hormone
Researchers have developed a toolkit based on modified yeast to determine plant responses to auxin.
Epigenetic Clock Predicts Life Expectancy
New research finds 5 percent of population ages faster, faces shorter lifespan.
Blood Pressure Drug May Boost Effectiveness of Lung Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the blood pressure drug may make a type of lung cancer treatment more effective.
Regulatory RNA Essential to DNA Damage Response
Researchers discover a tumour suppressor is stabilized by an RNA molecule, which helps cells respond to DNA damage.
Death-or-Repair Switch Protein Identified
Researchers have identified a protein that plays a key role in the decision process of cell damage repair or cellular suicide.
Heart Arrhythmia Caused by Mosaic of Mutant Cells
Researchers have solved the genetic mystery of an infant suffering from heart arrhythmia.
Crispr Toolbox Expanded By Protein
Researchers have shown a newly discovered CRISPR protein has two distinct RNA cutting activities.
Genetic Impact of Endurance Training
Research has found that endurance training changes genetic activity in thousands of genes, giving rise to large number of altered RNA variants.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!