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Researcher Discover Circular RNA’s Role in Cancer Development

A crucial new link between a person’s risk of developing cancer and the roles of circular RNAs, a just recently identified class of genetic sequences contained within our cells, has been made by Australian cancer experts. This study was published in Journal Cancer Cell. According to one of the leading cancer journals in the world, The DNA in our cells can become mutated due to specific circular RNAs found in many of us.  

Eurek Alert According to Flinders University Professor Simon Conn, who directs the Circulating RNAs in Cancer Laboratory within the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, “Environmental and genetic variants were previously believed to be the main contributors for cancer, but this groundbreaking finding – that we call ‘ER3D’ (from ‘endogenous RNA directed DNA damage’) – ushers within a completely novel field in medical and molecular biology investigation.” 

This is the initial instance of a hereditary molecule that’s a part of many people and has the power to modify our DNA and fuel cancer from within. This makes exploiting these compounds as new treatment targets and early-stage disease markers possible when there is a far better chance of curing tumors.   

The study compared newborn blood tests, or Guthrie cards, of infants who later developed acute leukemia with those who did not have any blood problems. This study discovered that a particular circular RNA was substantially more prevalent at birth than when leukemia symptoms first appeared. 

The research suggests that a critical factor in explaining why some people develop these tumor-causing genes or the oncogene and other people do not is the number of circular RNA molecules that reside within their cells.   

“Across various cells, circular RNAs can bind to DNA in numerous distinct places. According to Professor Conn, these circular RNAs bind to the DNA at Particular locations, resulting in a series of modifications that damage the DNA and require the cell to repair it to survive.   

This repair is not always successful, and as a result, there may be minor mutations, such as a misspelled word in a book or, worse yet, pervasive and fatal alterations. According to lead scientist Dr. Vanessa Conn, multiple circular RNAs seem to work together to cause breakage at various DNA locations.   

“Chromosome translocation,” as it is sometimes known, causes gene fusions that can turn a normal cell into a malignant cell, which is a significant concern for the cell, according to the author. Since these fusions of genes have been shown to worsen the outlook for the patient who possesses them, doctors worldwide have long utilized them to guide treatment decisions, the researchers claim.   

Even though patients had more than 100 confirmed fusions, the cause of these mutations was unknown until recently. Not unexpectedly, the ER3D mechanism can occur in other diseases as well, according to Dr. Conn.  

She claims we now have proof that ER3D affects other malignancies and other disorders besides leukemia. The investigation of circular RNAs’ function in cancer and other disorders is still ongoing by the Flinders University research team.    

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