Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /f5/babybiotechs/public/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /f5/babybiotechs/public/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /f5/babybiotechs/public/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505
Micro RNAs: The Last Frontier of Medicine?

Micro RNAs: The Last Frontier of Medicine?

Before we get into investigating Rosetta Genomics in detail, I thought I would give a little background on micro RNAs since it’s the molecule that Rosetta has based its entire platform on.

Micro RNAs (miRNA) were discovered in worms about 14 years ago, but they have been found in a wide range of organisms (including humans) in the last few years. A subset of our genes encode miRNAs which are transcribed in the usual fashion creating primary transcripts (pri-miRNA). These long single stranded pri-miRNAs fold back on themselves to create hairpin stem-loop structures. The hairpins in the pri-miRNA are cleaved into short 70 nucleotide pre-miRNAs through drosha processing. These Pre-miRNAs are then exported from the nucleus. In the cytoplasm, dicer processing takes place where the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) binds to the hairpin RNAs and further cuts the RNA to make the final miRNA.

The miRNA is partially complementary to a messenger RNA (mRNA) that has been transcribed. This allows the miRNA/RISC complex to bind to the mRNA and inhibit its translation (production of proteins) either by directly blocking the translation machinery, or by stimulating the degradation of the mRNA. In essence, miRNAs work the same way as transcription factors in that they can control protein expression.

Interestingly, miRNAs have been observed to be overexpressed in some cancers. Increasing miRNAs should decrease protein expression, so you can imagine that these miRNAs might inhibit the expression of tumor suppressors although it is difficult to determine what genes miRNAs target.

How can biotechnology companies make money from miRNAs?

  • Reagents-The easiest way for scientist to understand the function of a protein is to eliminate it from the cell and see what happens. The synthetic equivalent of miRNAs is small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) which can be used to inhibit translation and thus expression of a protein. Since miRNAs occur naturally in the cell, they may be favored by researchers if for no other reason than that they have been validated (ie they have been shown to lower protein levels). Additionally since understanding the impact of miRNAs on the cell is important, kits that measure the concentration of miRNAs may be marketable.
  • Diagnostics-Currently protein levels are measured as an indication of disease in many diagnostic tests. Since miRNAs control the protein levels, the amount of miRNA in cells could also be used as a test for diseases like cancer where the levels of miRNAs have been shown to be altered.
  • Therapeutics-miRNAs could be used to decrease a protein’s level in a diseased cell by overexpressing the miRNA that controls it. Conversely the level of the protein could also be up-regulated by inhibiting the miRNA in the cells with molecules that are capable of binding to (and inhibiting) the endogenous miRNAs.

Are miRNAs going to cure every disease? Probably not, but I’m looking forward to digging deeper into Rosetta Genomics plan for monetizing their intellectual property.


With the holiday weekend eating up my free time, the next report will likely be delayed until Tuesday or Wednesday.

7 Responses to “Micro RNAs: The Last Frontier of Medicine?”

  1. […] This is the second in a series of posts analyzing Rosetta Genomics stock. If you haven’t already, you may want to read my primer on what a micro RNA is and how companies can capitalize on them. […]

  2. […] presents Micro RNAs: The Last Frontier of Medicine? posted at Baby […]

  3. That is really interesting. I hope they will do more studies about Micro RNAs. Who knows, this can be the cure for incurable diseases.

  4. Look at how modern we are nowadays. Thanks for the gift of science.

  5. I want to show some thanks to the writer just for bailing me out of this setting. Because of browsing throughout the internet and obtaining notions which were not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was well over. Existing without the strategies to the problems you’ve solved by way of your main site is a crucial case, and ones that might have in a negative way affected my career if I hadn’t noticed your site. Your personal training and kindness in maneuvering all the details was crucial. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a solution like this. I am able to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for your skilled and result oriented guide. I will not hesitate to recommend the website to anyone who would need guidelines on this matter.

  6. Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast!

    What host have been you using? Can I determine your affiliate link to your
    host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  7. /links/ “Type verification image”

Leave a Reply