Regulation of long, non-coding RNAs in ovarian cancer by the tumour suppressor protein, p53
Over 70% of ovarian cancer cases have changes to a protein in our cells called p53. Normally p53 has an anti-cancer effect by being responsible for keeping our cells in check and preventing them from growing and dividing uncontrollably.
As well as that, there are certain components in the cell called long non-coding RNAs or lncRNAs. Their amounts are different in ovarian cancer cells with altered p53, in comparison to ones with normal p53.
We know that p53 helps make some these lncRNAs, but we don’t know exactly which ones or how p53 does this. This project, funded by Breakthrough Cancer Research, will establish a system in the lab so we can test changes in p53 that we see in patients and learn how those affect lncRNA levels. From this we hope to identify specific lncRNAs that could be used to diagnose ovarian cancer at its earliest stage, when it would be most beneficial to patients.