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MicroRNAs: their role in genesis and progression of human melanoma

Grant number: 11/22832-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal Investigator:Miriam Galvonas Jasiulionis
Grantee:Adriana Taveira da Cruz
Supervisor abroad: Victor Alexander Tron
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Queen's University, Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:10/18484-6 - Identification of miRNA involved with melanoma genesis and epigenetic regulation of their expression, BP.DR

Abstract

Non-coding RNAs are RNA molecules that have structural, enzymatic andregulatory functions. Among those with regulatory activity are miRNAs, whichcorrespond to very small RNAs, consisting of approximately 22 nucleotides.miRNAs are able to bind to messenger RNA (mRNA) targets and prevent theirtranslation. It is estimated that over 60% of mRNAs are regulated by miRNAsand therefore these molecules are considered essential in controlling manybiological processes such as apoptosis, stress response and cell proliferation.Increase or decrease in the expression of miRNAs contributes to the breakdownof cellular homeostasis and promotes development of several diseases,including cancer. Some miRNAs have function of oncogenes and other of tumorsuppressor. Oncogenic miRNAs are able to promote tumor growth by negativelyregulating tumor suppressor proteins level, whereas miRNAs that are negativelyregulated in tumors, unable to inhibit the expression of their targets withoncogenic function, are classified as tumor suppressors. Little is known aboutthe mechanisms related to the control of miRNAs and understanding the eventsthat lead to changes in their expression may provide new perspectives for thetreatment of cancer. Aims. Thus, this study aims to identify miRNAs expressionchanges over malignant transformation of melanocytes and human melanomaprogression, to determine the cellular pathways that are under the control ofthese miRNAs. Also, this work intend to identify miRNAs that might be related toresponse to treatment, which can be used as markers for different stages ofprogression of melanoma, or which can serve as a target for new therapeuticstrategies. (AU)