miRNAs and cancer

Cancer is a disease caused by multiple defects in a cell. Drugs blocking several tumorigenic signaling pathways at the same time may result in novel and better treatment strategies with higher efficacy and less drug resistance than drugs targeting a single target. miRNAs can inhibit multiple mRNA targets in a coordinated fashion thereby regulating their protein expression. By optimally using this characteristic of miRNAs, i.e. blocking activated cancer signaling pathways and preventing activation of alternative cancer signaling pathways, InteRNA designs breakthrough therapies tackling cancer.

miRNAs are naturally occurring, non-coding strands of RNA that trigger the RNA interference pathway. They result from an extensive processing route in which a long RNA transcript, folded in a hairpin structure, is cleaved into short strands of approximately 22 nucleotides – the miRNA molecules.

miRNAs regulate gene expression by controlling the efficiency of messenger RNA (mRNA) translation – the process of translating genetic information into functional proteins. The miRNA binds to its target sequence in mRNA transcripts, which leads to translational repression or mRNA degradation. As a result, the production of protein encoded by that particular mRNA sequence is inhibited.