Micro-RNA, which is abbreviated miR or miRNA, has recently been known as a potential tumor-associated signature that can indicate early cancer development.
Prof. UM, SOONG HO
A tumor is a devastating disease, and it is important to apply appropriate therapeutic and diagnostic tools to accurately detect the cancer stage and type. Early detection of cancer is associated with a higher percentage of recovery after treatment, and it is more important to identify the molecular signature of cancer as early as possible. Micro-RNA, which is abbreviated miR or miRNA, has recently been known as a potential tumor-associated signature that can indicate early cancer development. In addition, because miRNAs regulate transcription of mRNA in the upper level of the cascade, a miRNA network significantly influences cellular metabolism, development, differentiation, establishment, and even stress response. miRNA profiles provide essential clues about metabolic heterology in tumorigenesis. Types and mechanisms of cancer-specific miRNAs can be identified for clinical index. Quantification of multiple miRNAs in a living cell leads to better understanding of cancer. Significant correlation of specific miRNA variances that exist during progression from primary tumor to metastasis can be used to predict the effective diagnosis of whole-stage cancer. Moreover, in addition to a change of tumor concept, in which there is a successive process of clonal evolution at the tumor site, cell-to-cell variation and interfacial communication should be detected for personalized medicine.
Several nanotechnology-based systems were developed for miRNA detection at the cellular level. However, quantitative analysis of multiplex miRNAs in a living cell is difficult due to the cellular transport kinetics of each cell type. To date, Prof. Soong Ho UM and Dr. Seung Won SHIN present a novel miRNA detection platform using fluorescence-encoded nanostructured Prof. Soong Ho UM Discriminates a Tumor Heterogeneity Using a Fluorescence-encoded DNA Nanostructur
DNA probing for quantitative analysis of multiplexed miRNAs in living cells. His research group has been working for over a decade to design novel molecular diagnostic tool kits based on DNA nanotechnology for biomedical purposes. Nanotechnology-engineered platforms as synthesized can provide highly programmable and predictable labeling of various miRNAs specific to the type of cancer in a technically simple manner at the molecular scale. In this study, Prof. UM and his colleagues demonstrate that it is eventually possible to encode fluorescence colors of cancer-specific miRNA signatures in cells using new DNA nanotechnology and to track the presence of fluorescent cells in in situ.
Prof. UM speculates that this novel nanostructured DNA-based diagnosis can provide not only important information for tumorigenesis, but can also be applied in personalized medicine as an easy-to-use tool kit. This demonstration of efficient cancer cell labeling and its in situ cancer-staged tracking and tumor heterogeneity, which may be not easy to be realized without this new scientific tool kit, will be of great interest to anyone who is seeking for a new scientific report for progressive technology developments at a cutting-edge cancer diagnosis.
This work was supported by a grant from both the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare and the Basic Science Research Programs through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.