Research Project: Active Loading of Extracellular Vesicles Depletes Tumors of miRNAs
basic biologic mechanisms
gene expression transcription
While various mechanisms contribute to lung cancer, loss of a type of tumor-suppressing molecules called microRNAs is one that specifically gives lung cancer cells a competitive advantage. Based on this knowledge, which was uncovered over two decades ago, approaches to understand the mechanisms that drive global microRNA loss have been under intense investigation. We recently identified a mechanism that can explain this loss. We will validate this mechanism, which we hypothesize lung cancer cells use to rid themselves of large subsets of microRNAs. If supported, we will answer a question that has been plaguing the lung cancer field for decades–how do lung cancer cells rid themselves of a major cohort of tumor-suppressive microRNAs? And, through identifying the mechanism, we will be poised to evaluate interventions that could prevent microRNA loss, leading to demise of the cancer.