Targeting microRNAs in cancer

Published on December 31, 2015   38 min

Other Talks in the Category: Cancer

Hi, my name is Molly Taylor, I'm a Postdoctoral Scientist at AstraZeneca, and I'm going to be talking today about the role that microRNAs play in cancer, and how we might be able to target microRNAs for developing a cancer therapeutic.
So, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. For example, in 2012 there were approximately 14 million new cases of cancer diagnosed and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths. In 2000, Hanahan and Weinberg eloquently proposed this model through which cancer cells gain their proliferative and metastasic properties that make them really malignant. And these properties are sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppression, activating invasion and metastasis, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and resisting cell death. And the collective efforts of science and medicine have dramatically reduced the annual cancer death rate by about 20 percent over the last two decades by developing targeted inhibitors that hit each of these various different hallmarks of cancer. So today, I'm going to talk about how microRNAs function in these hallmarks of cancer and how we might be able to develop new therapeutics to target microRNAs and thus develop new therapies.
So the central dogma of molecular biology states that genetic information is transferred sequentially from DNA to RNA to protein. So we go from the blueprint of genetic information contained in DNA to a transient copy of that information contained in RNA to the protein that carries out a function in the cell. However, this model only accounts for about 1.5-2 percent of the human genome. So what is the rest of the genome doing?