Early detection of cancer: Alu sequence exonization
The Invention A method has been developed whereby the generation of new Alu exons in particular genes may be used as diagnostic markers for different cancers. The method associates RNA splicing isoforms with specific cancers which may be readily detected by standard methods.
The Need If detected early enough, in many cases, cancers can be cured with existing therapies. There is thus a desperate need for early detection of cancers and identification of those individuals with a predisposition or risk to develop particular cancers.
Potential Applications The method is expected to provide accurate and rapid diagnosis and can readily screen for a wide range of cancers. The invention provides insight into the evolution of cancer and is a valuable research tool in the search for effective anticancer therapeutics. Constitutively spliced Alu exons that disturb the function of the original gene may lead to all kinds of genetic diseases – this method has great potential for expansion into diagnosis of genetic diseases in other therapeutic areas.
· May be readily applied using existing PCR technology
· Only very small sample sizes will be required
· Large sample numbers can be screened simultaneously
· Accurate, reliable, cost effective
Stageof Development Exonization of Alu elements in acyl-CoA dehydrogenase was shown to be associated with ovarian cancer and in the TIF-1A gene was shown to be specific to certain leukemia cell lines.
References Lev-Maor, G., Sorek, R., Shomron, N. and Ast, G. 2003 The birth of an alternatively spliced exon: 3' splice-site selection in Alu exons. Science 300: 1288-1291
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