A research group of Professor Tatsuko Igaki and Researcher Takao Ito of Kyoto University Graduate School discovered that microRNA destroys cellular senescence genes and promotes canceration.

 Cancer is caused by the activation of "oncogenes", but it does not cause cancer by itself.This is because activation of oncogenes promotes cell proliferation and creates a function called "cell senescence" that attempts to stop cell proliferation.Therefore, when this function is lost, the development of cancer is promoted.However, it was unclear by what mechanism the function of cellular senescence was suppressed when cancer developed.

 In analyzing the mechanism of cancer development using Drosophila, the research group inhibits cell aging by a specific microRNA (a short RNA that does not encode a protein that degrades the mRNA of the target gene). , Found to promote cancer.The oncogene Ras, which is activated in many human cancers, is known to cause cellular senescence.It was found that activation of Ras in the compound eye of Drosophila does not cause cancer growth, but simultaneous activation of the cancer-promoting protein Yorkie (YAP in humans) causes vigorous cancer growth.

 The mechanism is that Yorkie induces the expression of microRNA, which disrupts a gene called Pointed (ETS in humans) that is required to cause cell aging, thereby preventing cell aging and promoting canceration. There was found.

 The research group points out that a similar mechanism may work in human cancers.The results of this research will contribute to the development of new cancer treatment methods, and since cell aging is a phenomenon closely related to individual aging and longevity, it is expected that it will be applied to the medical field related to anti-aging. It is supposed to be done.

Paper information:[Signaling] Yorkie drives Ras-induced tumor progression by microRNA-mediated inhibition of cellular senescence

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