Single-Strand DNA Reactivates Tumor-Suppressor Genes

July
2018

Researchers based in China have developed small circular single-stranded DNA (CSSD) that can reduce tumor malignancy and restore the body’s defenses against cancer.

Tumor-suppressor genes protect cells from cancer. In cancer patients, these genes are susceptible to mutations and silencing (i.e., reduced expression) by RNA fragments called microRNAs. Without tumor-suppressor genes to combat the cancer cells, the tumor can become malignant and spread throughout the body.

Each microRNA can target multiple suppressor genes. The researchers theorized that by regulating the expression of a single microRNA, they could simultaneously undo the silencing of multiple tumor-suppressor genes, essentially reactivating the patient’s immune system to fight off the disease.

The team began by examining the effect of specific tumor-suppressor genes on survival timeframes among patients with breast, lung, or ovarian cancer. Previous studies indicated that higher expression of the tumor-suppressor genes KLF17, CDH1, or LASS2 was associated...

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