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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

PI: Fedaku Kassie

MicroRNAs as Cancer Biomarkers and Targets for Preventive and Therapeutic Agents

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNA molecules that are considered as novel regulators of gene expression. Accumulating data show that individual miRNAs regulate oncogene and tumor suppressor gene expression and therefore can play an important role in tumorigenesis. miRNA expression patterns (or signatures) are now known to characterize the developmental origins of tumors more effectively than mRNA expression signatures and may provide a useful tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of human cancer. Also, recent evidence from translational studies suggests that miRNA signatures may be useful in categorizing, detecting, and predicting the course of an increasing number of human cancers. In addition, mechanistic studies on the role of miRNAs in oncogenesis and tumor progression have suggested therapeutic strategic targeting of miRNAs and miRNA regulated pathways. This researcher is interested in identifying miRNAs that are differentially expressed during the different stages of human and mouse lung tumorigenesis and using these signatures as tools for the early detection of lung cancer and targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions.