'Junk DNA' Plays Active Role in Cancer Progression, Researchers Find

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have found that a genetic rogue element produced by sequences until recently considered 'junk DNA' could promote cancer progression

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The researchers, led by Dr Cristina Tufarelli, in the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health Sciences, discovered that the presence of this faulty genetic element -- known as chimeric transcript LCT13 -- is associated with the switching off of a known tumour suppressor gene (known as TFPI-2) whose expression is required to prevent cancer invasion and metastasis.

Their findings, published online this month in the journal Nucleic Acid Research, suggest that LCT13 may be involved in switching off TFPI-2.

This faulty genetic element was previously identified by Dr Tufarelli's team as part of a group of chimeric transcripts which are produced by DNA sequences frequently regarded as 'junk DNA' called LINE-1 (L1).

The work reported now expands on the previous observation as it indicates that in addition to acting as potential diagnostic tools these rogue elements can play an active role in cancer.

Dr Tufarelli said: "This study has identified a novel way in which 'junk DNA' can interfere with the normal functioning of a cell. The next step will be to understand how these elements become switched on. This information will be important in the design of treatments aimed to prevent activation of these elements and cancer progression."

The work was initiated through funding by Cancer Research UK, the Royal Society, MRC and Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Comments

Am I the only one who finds talk like this scary as hell. Guess its because I see us genetically modifying ourselves at this point in time (or in the near future) as being highly dangerous, In my mind we shouldn't even be doing it with food. Who's to say "Junk DNA" isn't back up code that allows us to be more adaptable under the right conditions, also it could even be the early foundation work in our natural evolution (tech aside). I can't help wonder just maybe cancer is a part of our evolution as well, not to say we shouldn't combat it but just not genetically. Last thing we need is for some unforeseen virus born from a lack of patience :/

Well, the only ones that will be able to afford genetic "treatments" will be the rich or at least the well off. So, they'll be the experiment and us poor sods will watch as they either surpass us and become super beings or they all die off. Kind of like a Margaret Attwood novel I read recently.

I'm very aware/scared of cancer like anyone else, and what urks me the most with this research of how its taking so riddiclously slow in terms of treating cancer. All I can see is bombarding people with Kimo therapy is probably the worst thing you can do to the human body!

They have all the funding in the world and cant seem to even understand cancer fundementaly furtehr than a mutation of a gene, I've seen many prevention methods from scraps and pieces all over the web, none of which is verified but I've actuall doen all of them since i'm so terrified of catching it. Such as take alot of vitamin D, Cut down or remove meat and dairy from your diet and dont smoke obviously but everything else is just all in the air, I wish there was a definitive guide to a main causes of cancer, they have billions in funding! okay they cant cure it but how can i avoid it? seeing as 1/2 the men in the world WILL have cancer, There doesnt seem to be alot of urgency on this issue!

Apart from preventative measures that people can take, cancer might be susceptible to a variety of foods/herbs that can reduce/eliminate it from the body. Add to that targeted meditation techniques, and a person might be able to achieve better results than they ever would with Chemo therapy (which as it was suggested by Gonza, is one of the worst possible things a Human body could/should be subjected to).

In a recent event it was found that Junk DNA is more responsible for Cancer. It is also found that if there is a faulty element in the gene then that particular faulty gene helps in the cancer progression which is quite harmful. It is also found that junk DNA is also responsible for the dysfunction of other events. This needs to be checked so that cancer can be detected early and could be cured.

The next step will be to understand how these elements become switched on.

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