" "
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

NIH Funds Research to Explore a Cell Communication Process

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers will investigate the emerging field of extracellular RNA and its role in human health conditions.

The National Institutes of Health announced today it will award $17 million this year for 24 research projects designed to improve scientists’ understanding of a newly discovered type of cell-to-cell communication based on extracellular (outside the cell) RNA, also called exRNA. Through these awards, scientists will explore basic exRNA biology and develop tools and technologies that apply new knowledge about exRNA to the research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. To unlock the potential of this new scientific field, the awarded research projects will address conditions in which exRNA could play a role, including many types of cancer, bone marrow disorders, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The collaborative, cross-cutting Extracellular RNA Communication program is supported by the NIH Common Fund and led by a trans-NIH team that includes the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS); National Cancer Institute (NCI); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

“We have a tremendous opportunity to explore a recently discovered novel way that cells communicate,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Expanding our understanding of this emerging scientific field could help us determine the role extracellular RNA plays in health and disease, and unlocking its mysteries may provide our nation’s scientists with new tools to better diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases.”

Scientists think exRNA can regulate many functions in the body and may have an important role in a variety of diseases, but they still know very little about basic exRNA biology. Most RNA works inside cells to translate genes into proteins that are necessary for organisms to function. Other types of RNA control which proteins and the amount of those proteins the cells make. Until recently, scientists believed RNA worked mostly inside the cell that produced it. Now, recent findings show cells can release RNA in the form of exRNA to travel through body fluids and affect other cells. ExRNA can act as a signaling molecule, communicating with other cells and carrying information from cell to cell throughout the body.

Researchers hope to use some kinds of exRNA as biomarkers, or indicators of the presence, absence or stage of a disease. These biomarkers may enable scientists to understand and diagnose diseases earlier and more effectively. Scientists also will use exRNA to develop molecular treatments for diseases.

“To harness exRNA’s enormous potential for diagnostics and therapeutics in a broad range of diseases, we first need to understand more about different types of exRNA, how cells make and release it, how it travels through the body, how it targets and affects specific cells, and how the amount and type of exRNA can change in disease,” said James Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, which oversees the NIH Common Fund. “Awards in this exciting new field will help advance our collective understanding of exRNA communication and will enable research in many biomedical research fields.”

Multidisciplinary teams of investigators will carry out research projects in a number of critical scientific areas. NCATS will administer 18 awards through which researchers will develop biomarkers from exRNA and design new ways to use exRNA in treatments. NCI will oversee five projects that address how cells make and release exRNA (biogenesis), how and where exRNA travels through body fluids to other cells (biodistribution), how cells take in exRNA that is traveling through body fluids (uptake), and how exRNA changes the function of cells (effector functions). NIDA will support a project to develop a Data Management and Resource Repository that will house all of the data generated by these projects, including a public ExRNA Atlas website to serve as a community-wide resource for exRNA research standards, protocols, data, tools and technology. Scientists working on these projects will form an ExRNA Consortium to collaborate, share information, and spread knowledge to the larger scientific community and public.

“NCATS develops, demonstrates and disseminates new technologies that catalyze improvements in human health” said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. “These awards epitomize that mission, delving into a brand new area of science to discover new targets for interventions, diagnostics, biomarkers and therapeutics — all of which will speed the path from discovery to improved health.”

The 24 awards are milestone-driven cooperative agreements. Individual projects will be supported for up to five years, except for the Data Management and Resource Repository, which could be supported longer. To learn more about the research projects, visit http://commonfund.nih.gov/exrna/fundedresearch.

Later this year, NIH plans to issue a request for applications to develop an exRNA reference profile, which is a catalog of the types of exRNA found in various body fluids from healthy humans. NHLBI will lead this effort to enable studies on how exRNA profiles of people with diseases differ from those of healthy people.


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

“Sixth Sense” More Than a Feeling
NIH study of rare genetic disorder reveals importance of touch and body awareness.
Monday, September 26, 2016
“Sixth Sense” May Be More Than Just A Feeling
The NIH Study shows that two young patients with a mutation in the PIEZ02 have problems with touch and proprioception, or body awareness.
Friday, September 23, 2016
The Genetics of Blood Pressure
Researchers have identifed areas of the genome associated with blood-pressure including 17 previously unknown loci.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
NIH Study Finds Link Between Depression, Gestational Diabetes
Researchers at NIH have discovered that the depression in early pregnancy doubles risk for gestational diabetes, and gestational diabetes increases risk for postpartum depression.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Detecting Bacterial Infections in Newborns
Researchers tested an alternative way to diagnose bacterial infections in infants—by analyzing RNA biosignatures from a small blood sample.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Finding Compounds That Inhibit Zika
Researchers identified compounds that inhibit the Zika virus and reduce its ability to kill brain cells.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Seeking Innovation to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance
Federal prize competition, with $20 million in prizes, seeks to develop new laboratory diagnostic tools to detect and distinguish antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Friday, September 09, 2016
Genetic Misdiagnoses of Heart Condition
Analysis found several genetic variations previously linked with a heart condition were harmless, leading to condition misdiagnosis.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Catalogue of Human Genetic Diversity Expands
The largest data set of human exomes to date has been assembled to better study seqence variants and their consequences.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Extreme Temperatures Could Increase Preterm Birth Risk
Researchers at NIH have found more preterm births among women exposed to extremes of hot and cold.
Friday, September 02, 2016
$12.4M Awarded to Neural Regeneration Projects
The National Institutes of Health will fund six projects to identify biological factors that influence neural regeneration.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Oxygen Can Impair Cancer Immunotherapy
Researchers have identified a mechanism within the lungs where anticancer immune resposnse is inhibited.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Diagnosing Bacterial Infections in Blood Samples
Researchers have diagnosed a bacterial infection from a blood sample in infants.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Stem Cell Therapy Heals Injured Mouse Brain
A team of researchers has developed a therapeutic technique that dramatically increases the production of nerve cells in mice with stroke-induced brain damage.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
New Inflammatory Disease Discovered
NIH researchers have discovered a rare and potentially deadly disease - otulipenia - the mostly affects children.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Scientific News
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Gene Regulation in Brain May Explain Repetitive Behaviors in Rett Syndrome Patients
The research could be a key step in developing treatments to eliminate symptoms that drastically impair the quality of life in Rett patients.
Heart Arrhythmia Caused by Mosaic of Mutant Cells
Researchers have solved the genetic mystery of an infant suffering from heart arrhythmia.
Iron Nanoparticles Make Immune Cells Attack Cancer
Researchers accidentally discover that nanoparticles invented for anemia treatment can trigger the immune system’s ability to destroy tumor cells.
Crispr Toolbox Expanded By Protein
Researchers have shown a newly discovered CRISPR protein has two distinct RNA cutting activities.
CES Score May Predict Response to Cancer Treatment
Researchers identify new type of biomarker that helps predict prognosis and response to several types of cancer treatment.
Uncovering Cancer’s ‘Invisibility Cloak’
Researchers discover cancer cell mechanism to become invisible to the body's immune system.
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.
Treating Sepsis with Marine Mitochondria
Mitochondrial alternative oxidase from a marine animal combats bacterial sepsis.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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!