Dr Karen Wing Yee Yuen and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Yick Hin Ling discovered cell division requires a balanced level of non-coding RNA for chromosome stability

By Eric Lee
May 08th 2019

They discovered that centromeric DNA is used as a template to produce a non-protein coding, centromeric RNA (cenRNA), that is essential for chromosome stability. If there is too much or too little cenRNA, the centromere will be defective and chromosomes will be lost.

Abnormally high expression of cenRNA was found in some cancers like ovarian cancers. This indicates that mis-regulation of cenRNA in the cell might contribute to cancer progression.

They will try to see if cenRNA could be used as a cancer biomarker. If the cancer cells release a high level of cenRNA to the blood, it could be used for early detection or for monitoring the malignancy of the tumor.

Take a glance at the animation to learn more about their findings.


Article: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/13/6270