Spanish researchers identify protein driving melanoma malignancy

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 3, 2022 -- Several proteins are involved in the progression of melanoma, and one in particular, PDIA6, drives malignancy, researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona found.

Using mice, the team found that melanoma cells with reduced levels of PDIA6 had an impaired ability to metastasize to the lung and that PDIA6 promoted melanoma malignancy by binding to RNA molecules inside the tumor's cell (Nucleic Acids Research, July 15, 2022).

They used RNA fishing, also known as RNA interactome capture, to make this determination, which involves fishing out all messenger RNAs in a cell. They could then see which proteins were attached to the cells and which proteins were involved in the diversity of RNA-binding activities taking place inside the cells.

When comparing tumor and non-tumor cells, RNA fishing helped the researchers identify which proteins played important roles in cancer progression and how they worked. With more research, this information could help with the development of new therapeutic compounds that prevent the spread of melanoma from one part of the body to another. Not only that, if it's discovered PDIA6 also binds to RNA in other cancer types, this could lead to a therapeutic strategy that targets the same mechanism of action across different tumors.

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