New method identifies splicing biomarkers for liver cancer
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IMAGE: Different versions, or isoforms, of messenger RNAs generated by the human AFMID gene, are represented, showing their relative prevalence in cancerous (top) and non-cancerous tissue (bottom), sampled from throughout the… view more 

Credit: Krainer Lab, CSHL

Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Because liver cancer is particularly diverse, genetically, and prone to relapse, identifying biomarkers that can predict disease progression is a critical goal in the fight against it.

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), led by CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer, now report in Genome Research that they have developed a method for identifying splicing-based biomarkers for the most common form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). They believe the method will be useful in other cancer types as well.

“This study underscores the potential for learning how RNA splicing variants can contribute to cancer and points to these variants as potential biomarkers for cancer progression,” Krainer says.

Splicing refers to a process in which an RNA message copied from information encoded in a gene is edited before it is able to serve as a blueprint for the manufacture of a specific protein. A gene can give rise to multiple RNA messages, each resulting in a different protein

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