Critical Care Advances At Ohio State

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A consortium of researchers, including those from Ohio State University Medical Center, are the first to assess genome-wide gene expression at the tissue level in patients with sarcoidosis.

The study’s findings appear online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. “Our study provides novel insights into diseases pathogenesis and identifies novel prognostic biomarkers,” says Dr. Elliott Crouser, first author of the study and a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at OSU Medical Center. According to Crouser, this study has led scientists to the discovery of new potential biomarkers of disease and new possible targets for treatment of sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is the most common interstitial lung disease and the cause is unknown.

OHIO STATE RESEARCHERS MODEL HOW CELLS BECOME CANCEROUS

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Researchers from Ohio State University Medical Center recently published a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences modeling how cells become cancerous. Scientists used a mathematical approach to predict the regulatory function of a specific microRNA cluster, a group of small non-coding RNA molecules that control protein expression, and their role in tumor development.

Prior to this study, it was unclear why this particular group of microRNA acted as an oncogene, or tumor promoter, under certain conditions and a tumor suppressor under other circumstances.

“The model we used in this study allowed us to analyze the interaction between the microRNAs and their protein targets to make additional predictions on how cells become cancerous,” says Dr. Clay Marsh, director of the Center for Critical Care at Ohio State’s Medical Center and senior author of the study. The development of cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow and reproduce rapidly, and yet these cells are also capable of controlling proliferation and survival. Changes in microRNA expression have been found in many different cancers.

“We can use this model system to predict and evaluate how cells may respond. This will pave the way for future therapeutic approaches for cancer,” Marsh says.

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