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Junk' D helps in preventing breast cancer

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

London, Feb 2: British researchers have identified a piece of non-coding Ribonucleic acid (R) that stops cells turning cancerous, reveals a study. The human genome contains around three metres of D, of which only about 2 percent contains genes that code for proteins and the rest has been recorded as R — transcribed from a stretch of D that doesn’t code for a protein. “In our study we’ve identified that a strand of non-coding R prevents the growth of a switch getting stuck and suppresses the spread of cancer,” said Adele Murrell from the University of Bath in UK. The findings could be used to understand how other non-coding Rs function and to develop potential gene therapies to treat cancer, the researchers said. The non-coding R fragment maintains healthy cells through two mechanisms: Firstly, by regulating the levels of one of its neighbouring genes that is involved in cell replication; secondly by suppressing a network of genes that prepares cells to change their shape and prepare for spread, explained the researchers in the paper published in the jourl — ture Communications. The scientists were able to distinguish between these two mechanisms by using smaller interfering Rs (siRs) to either specifically stop the non-coding R from being made or to degrade the R immediately after it was made. Both approaches led to cells changing their shape and transforming into migratory cells, the study revealed. (IANS)

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