The research involved patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and a gene mutation called NPM1, an alteration seen in about one-third of adult AML cases.
The findings suggest new therapeutic targets for treating the disease and should improve the understanding of AML, researchers say.
The study showed that a type of microRNA – molecules important in controlling cell development and proliferation – regulates two genes whose elevated activity has been linked to leukemia in humans and proven to cause leukemia in mice.
The two genes belong to the Hox family of genes, known to play a critical role in embryonic development and blood-cell development.
The study, led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, was published online Feb. 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We’ve shown that low levels of a microRNA called miR-204 are at least partly responsible for the high activity of these Hox genes,” says first author Dr. Ramiro Garzon, an Ohio State cancer researcher.
“If this is verified, and if we can develop a drug to modulate this microRNA, it may provide a new therapeutic intervention for these patients.”
For this study, the investigators examined microRNAs levels in leukemia cells from 85 patients. They also looked for mutations in two genes in the leukemic cells: NPM1 and FLT3 (pronounced “Flit-3”).
The pattern of microRNA molecules present in the cells enabled the researchers to distinguish the 55 patients with mutated NPM1 genes from those with a normal gene.
Furthermore, 26 of the 85 patients had FLT3 mutations. These cases also had high levels of a microRNA called miR-155. Further experiments showed that while the high levels of miR-155 were closely associated with FLT3 mutations, they were independent of the mutation (i.e., it did not cause the high levels).
“This is significant,” says Garzon, an assistant professor of internal medicine. “We already have drugs that target FLT3, but they are not effective by themselves. This finding suggests that if we develop a drug that targets miR-155, and combine it with a FLT3 inhibitor, we might achieve a more complete response in these patients.”
Garzon and his colleagues are studying that possibility now.
Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy