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Singapore scientists have uncovered the existence of a key mechanism underlying the development and recurrence of cancerous tumors. This will allow to develop new methods of effective treatment of oncological diseases. Article researchers published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The paper reports on the discovery of a mechanism that involves protein MBNL1. In many cases this molecule is present in low amounts in breast cancer cells, stomach cancer, lung and prostate, which accounted for 49 percent of all cancer cases diagnosed in 2018. There is evidence that the lack of MBNL1 is responsible for poor survival of patients with cancer.
MBNL1 binds to mRNA (an intermediate product of active genes) and regulates splicing — the process by which RNA are cut from areas that are not protein coding by introns and called. Thus, a protein that regulates the repair of DNA, the life cycle of cells, including division. It is shown that it inhibits carcinogenesis and development of metastasis in breast cancer and intestines.
It is also shown that in cancer cells a lack of MBNL1 promotes exon skipping in the gene MAP2K7 mRNA maturation. Exons — coding portion of this RNA directly involved in protein synthesis. In some cases, if the exon is badly damaged by a mutation, it is a pass, resulting in a synthesized incomplete but still functional version of the protein. MAP2K7 plays a crucial role in the transmission of signals within cells, and its isoforms with a missing exon-2 it can provoke the emergence of cancer cells with different properties, which makes the disease resistant to treatment.
Intermediary between the high level of pathogenic isoforms MAP2K7 and the emergence of new lines of cancer cells were kinase JNK (eng. c-Jun N-terminal kinase). If you suppress JNK by using inhibitors, it will reduce the activity of cancer stem cells. One of the inhibitors D-JNKI-1 has promising antitumor effects and are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of hearing loss.
Video, photo All from Russia.