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Monday, October 5, 2015

RNA editing and cancer

Genomic mutations in key genes are known to drive tumorigenesis and have been the focus of much attention in recent years. However, genetic content also may change farther downstream.
RNA editing alters the mRNA sequence from its genomic blueprint in a dynamic and flexible way. A few isolated cases of editing alterations in cancer have been reported previously.
Researchers provide a transcriptome-wide characterization of RNA editing across hundreds of cancer samples from multiple cancer tissues, and show that A-to-I editing and the enzymes mediating this modification are significantly altered, usually elevated, in most cancer types.
Increased editing activity is found to be associated with patient survival. As is the case with somatic mutations in DNA, most of these newly introduced RNA mutations are likely passengers, but a few may serve as drivers that may be novel candidates for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
http://www.cell.com/cell-rep…/abstract/S2211-1247(15)00993-6