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Molecule blocks gene, sheds light on liver cancer

21 were up to nine times greater in liver-tumor tissue compared with normal liver tissue, twice that of the next highest microRNA.

Earlier research led by Patel had shown that miR-21 probably targeted PTEN, and this study confirmed that.

Furthermore, the researchers showed that adding high levels of miR-21 to normal liver cells caused PTEN levels to drop. They also traced the chemical pathways that increased the cells' abilities to proliferate, migrate and invade other tissues.

Our findings indicate that miR-21 plays a fundamental role in tumor-cell behavior and cancer development, Patel says, and this may also be relevant to other tumors in which miR-21 is overexpressed. If this work is reproduced in investigations of other cancers, it could be a big step forward, he says.


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Contact: Eileen Scahill
Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University
1-Aug-2007


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