New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
October 14, 2011
Novel mechanism of gene regulation identified

Judith Lieberman, MD, PhD (Damon Runyon Fellow ‘84-‘86) of the Immune Disease Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues, reported the first description of competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) and their function. ceRNAs comprise a complex regulatory network that controls gene expression through binding of other RNAs called microRNAs. This study demonstrated that PTEN, a tumor suppressor, is regulated by 150 ceRNAs in human prostate and colon cancer cell lines. A separate study linked ceRNA-mediated regulation of PTEN to glioblastoma brain cancer. The discovery provides a new understanding of the genetics underlying cancer. These results were published in the journal Cell