Unravelling the function and regulation of the long non-coding RNA SAMMSON in cancer

01 January 2017 → 31 December 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Other biological sciences
    • Other natural sciences
Project description

Until recently, it was believed that only a small fraction of the genome contained relevant information, used by the cell to produce proteins. The majority was referred to as ‘junk DNA’with no obvious function throughout life. Today, there’ ample evidence demonstrating that the majority of the genome is producing non-coding RNA (ncRNA) transcripts that have important functions in every aspect of cell biology. This project focuses on the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) SAMMSON that was recently discovered by our lab as a melanoma specific lncRNA, essential for the survival of melanoma cells. Follow-up studies revealed that non-melanoma tumors sporadically express moderate levels of SAMMSON. These findings warrant further investigation into the role of SAMMSON in non-melanoma tumors and the mechanisms inducing SAMMSON expression. Given the therapeutic applications of SAMMSON knock down, we will also evaluate the use of designer small molecules to specifically inhibit SAMMSON function. Our results may open new therapeutic avenues based on SAMMSON inhibition in SAMMSON-positive cancer types.