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Current Highlight from September 19, 2014

Biomarkers of Carcinogenicity and Mutagenicity

Scientists from NCTR, Dalian Medical University, and the University of Texas at Austin, have identified two highly responsive differentially expressed miRNAs (miR-21 and miR-34a) in kidneys and one miRNA (miR-34a) in livers from male Big Blue rats treated with aristolochic acid. Aristolochic acid is an active component in herbal drugs that induces mutations and tumors in rat kidneys, but only mutations in the liver. Thus, these miRNAs could be used as biomarkers to distinguish aristolochic acid’s carcinogenicity (ability to cause cancer) from its mutagenicity (ability to cause mutations).  Incorporation of miRNA biomarkers into the current battery of genotoxicity tests could increase the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy in predicting carcinogenicity of test agents and the mode-of-action of carcinogens.  A manuscript describing these results is available online from the journal Mutagenesisdisclaimer icon.

For additional information, please contact Fanxue Meng, Ph.D., or Tao Chen, Ph.D., Division of Genetic and Molecular Toxicology, FDA/NCTR.


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Page Last Updated: 09/24/2014
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