Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes. Melanomas typically occur in the skin but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines, or eye. In women they most commonly occur on the legs, while in men they are most common on the back. Sometimes they develop from a mole with concerning changes including an increase in size, irregular edges, and changes in color, itchiness, or skin breakdown. The primary cause of melanoma is ultraviolet light (UV) exposure in those with low levels of skin pigment. The UV light may be from either the sun or from other sources, such as tanning devices. About 25% develop from moles. Those with many moles, a history of affected family members, and who have poor immune function are at greater risk. A number of rare genetic defects such as xeroderma pigmentosum also increase risk. Diagnosis is by biopsy of any concerning skin lesion. Using sunscreen and avoiding UV light may prevent melanoma.
- 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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- Lourdes Cortes-Dericks
ALDHhigh/CD44+ putative cancer stem cell population as therapeutic target in malignant pleural mesothelioma
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