Project Acronym: ONCOMIRS
Project full title: MiRs and Cancer: From Bench to Bedside
SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME HEALTH - 2007-2.4.1-1
MiRs (miRs) are small noncoding RNAs that function by regulating target gene expression post-transcriptionally. Although studies addressing their role in cancer pathogenesis are at an early stage, it is apparent that specific miRs and molecules involved in their biogenesis contribute to tumorigenesis. The current data suggest that these molecules are intertwined with cellular pathways regulated by classical cancer-causing genes, such as Myc, STATs, Ras and p53. Incorporation of miR regulation into current models of molecular cancer pathogenesis is essential to achieve a complete understanding of this group of diseases. In addition, the specificity and potency of some miRs suggest that they might be promising as therapeutic agents.
Objectives of OncomiRs
- Identification of key components of the miR-processing machine and examination of their expression profiles in human cancers.
- Identification of novel small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs, including miRs) whose expression is dysregulated in human cancers.
- Identification of cancer-causing miRs using forward genetic screens.Assessment of the biological functions of selected oncomiRs by direct experimental identification of target mRNAs.
- Defining the role of selected oncomiRs and components of the miR-processing machinery in the genesis and progression of cancer.
- Assessment of the therapeutic potential of miR (over)expression and/or inhibition in preclinical mouse model of human cancers.