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Cancer Biology and MicroRNAs - Essay Example

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This work will look at the role of the microRNAs in cancer. Regulation of genes is important in gene expression. Studies have shown that micro RNAs are important in cancer developmental stages such as proliferation, apoptosis and invasion. This essay will address these roles in cancer development…
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Cancer Biology and MicroRNAs
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Download file to see previous pages These various RNAs then decide how the amino acids will be coded to make the final protein chain and hence the expression of the genes. MicroRNAs however, are non-coding which means that they are not involved in the transcription and the translation process in any way. They are small molecules and they contain about twenty to twenty-five nucleotides. The role of the micro RNAs is to regulate gene expression as the work of the coding RNA needs to be streamlined to avoid abnormal or wrong coding. They are also very important in RNA silencing which involves suppressing the effect of a gene or more than one gene after coding has taken place (Dutta & Lee, 2010). This can also be important in the elimination of certain unwanted genes form the body. RNA silencing involves the use of antisense RNA which is used in the gene silencing. The identification of the two were among the greatest works done in this field in the last century. Of more importance is the realization that miRNA were significant players in the etiology of cancer. Further studies have shown that the miRNAs can be used in cancer therapy and so understanding their nature existence and roles is of great importance to molecular biology. miRNAs are often expressed differently in various stages of development in the organism an aspect that made them be called small temporal RNA due to their temporary expression (Dutta & Lee, 2010). The techniques used to measure their expression include Northern blotting and primer extension assay. This has been developed to help in understanding the small aspects of DNA and RNA that scientists could have ignored or bypassed in the past. As highlighted earlier, micro RNAs play a role in suppressing target messenger RNA expression. This is a complex interaction which includes interacting with 3’UTR in the mRNA. What has been noted is that there are many mismatches in the micro RNA target sites a situation that is still being probed to establish the cause and effects in gene mRNA expression. miRNA is also known to inhibit or decrease the target levels in the respective mRNA and so this can affect the organism adversely or serve as a predisposing factor for cancer. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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