The microRNA miR-21 suppresses the production of tumour suppressor Pdcd4, which protects cells from developing cancer. Researchers at the DKFZ have now found out that colorectal cancer cells in particular lack Pdcd4, while these cells have an oversupply of miR-21, which promotes the spread of malignant tumours in the intestine.
Literature:Irfan Asangani, Kabeer Rasheed, Dessislava Nikolova, Joerg Leupold, Nancy Colburn, Stefan Post, Heike Allgayer: MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) post-transcriptionally downregulates tumor suppressor Pdcd4 and stimulates invasion, intravasation and metastasis in colorectal cancer. Oncogene 2007. DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1210856