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Tumor-suppressor microRNAs in melanoma: investigation of the function of miR-203.

Huvudsökande: Andor Pivarcsi
Arbetsplats: Molekylär Dermatologi, CMM L8:02, Inst för Medicin, Enh för Derm, KI

Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. It accounts for only about 4% of skin cancer cases but for as many as 74% of all skin cancer deaths. 2,800 out of the approximately 50,000 cancer diagnosis made in Sweden every year are malignant melanoma making it one of the most common cancers. Treatment options to this disease are limited therefore there is a medical need to identify new drug targets. Recently a new type of genes, microRNAs have emerged as powerful regulators of cellular functions. These short RNA molecules can regulate basic biological processes, such as cell division, growth, maturation, cell motility and cell death. Many of these processes are altered in melanoma as well as cancers in general. We recently identified a microRNA, miR-203, which can suppress the cell division and migration/invasion of non-melanoma skin cancers. We and other groups identified that miR-203 can suppress the expression of a surprisingly large number of cancer-related genes. In the present project we will investigate whether delivery of miR-203 to melanoma can become a therapeutic option in the future. To this end we will use various cell culture and animal models.