Author(s): Margaret P Rayman
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Selenium is incorporated into selenoproteins that have a wide range of pleiotropic effects, ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to the production of active thyroid hormone. In the past 10 years, the discovery of disease-associated polymorphisms in selenoprotein genes has drawn attention to the relevance of selenoproteins to health. Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function, and cognitive decline. Higher selenium status or selenium supplementation has antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female reproduction, and reduces the risk of autoimmune thyroid disease. Prospective studies have generally shown some benefit of higher selenium status on the risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder cancers, but findings from trials have been mixed, which probably emphasises the fact that supplementation will confer benefit only if intake of a nutrient is inadequate. Supplementation of people who already have adequate intake with additional selenium might increase their risk of type-2 diabetes. The crucial factor that needs to be emphasised with regard to the health effects of selenium is the inextricable U-shaped link with status; whereas additional selenium intake may benefit people with low status, those with adequate-to-high status might be affected adversely and should not take selenium supplements.
This article was published in The Lancet
and referenced in Vitamins & Minerals
- Yosef Yarden
Classically, the 3âuntranslated region (3âUTR) is that region in eukaryotic protein-coding genes from the translation termination codon to the polyA signal. It is transcribed as an integral part of the mRNA encoded by the gene. However, there exists another kind of RNA, which consists of the 3âUTR alone, without all other elements in mRNA such as 5âUTR and coding region. The importance of independent 3âUTR RNA (referred as I3âUTR) was prompted by results of artificially introducing such RNA species into malignant mammalian cells. Since 1991, we found that the middle part of the 3âUTR of the human nuclear factor for interleukin-6 (NF-IL6) or C/EBP gene exerted tumor suppression effect in vivo. Our subsequent studies showed that transfection of C/EBP 3âUTR led to down-regulation of several genes favorable for malignancy and to up-regulation of some genes favorable for phenotypic reversion. Also, it was shown that the sequences near the termini of the C/EBP 3âUTR were important for its tumor suppression activity. Then, the C/EBP 3âUTR was found to directly inhibit the phosphorylation activity of protein kinase CPKC in SMMC-7721, a hepatocarcinoma cell line. Recently, an AU-rich region in the C/EBP 3âUTR was found also to be responsible for its tumor suppression. Recently we have also found evidence that the independent C/EBP 3âUTR RNA is actually exists in human tissues, such as fetal liver and heart, pregnant uterus, senescent fibroblasts etc. Through 1990âs to 2000âs, world scientists found several 3âUTR RNAs that functioned as artificial independent RNAs in cancer cells and resulted in tumor suppression. Interestingly, majority of genes for these RNAs have promoter-like structures in their 3âUTR regions, although the existence of their transcribed products as independent 3âUTR RNAs is still to be confirmed. Our studies indicate that the independent 3âUTR RNA is a novel non-coding RNA species whose function should be the regulation not of the expression of their original mRNA, but of some essential life activities of the cell as a whole.
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