Cancer: on the trail of miR-503
A recent article published by the journal Oncotarget (1), researchers at the Molecular Angiogenesis Laboratory in the GIGA-Cancer Unit at the University of Liege demonstrated the action of endothelial exosomes and the microRNAs they contain in relation to tumor growth. Their study shows that when the miR-503 microRNA is transferred into cancerous human breast cells it can bring about changes resulting in a reduction of the proliferative and invasive ability of these cells.
However, the idea came into being that microRNAs transferred by exosomes could have a function. It was, in fact, demonstrated that on contact with a recipient cell, they are capable of modifying the genetic response of these cells and therefore the phenotype.