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Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as candidate biomarkers of various diseases and conditions including malignancy and pregnancy. This approach requires sensitive and accurate quantitation of miRNA concentrations in body fluids. Herein we report that enzyme-based miRNA quantitation, which is currently the mainstream approach for identifying(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) in body fluids are candidate diagnostics for a variety of conditions and diseases, including breast cancer. One premise for using extracellular miRNAs to diagnose disease is the notion that the abundance of the miRNAs in body fluids reflects their abundance in the abnormal cells causing the disease. As a result, the search for such(More)
The ability to fuse cells is shared by many viruses, including common human pathogens and several endogenous viruses. Here we will discuss how cell fusion can link viruses to cancer, what types of cancers it can affect, how the existence of this link can be tested and how the hypotheses that we propose might affect the search for human oncogenic viruses. In(More)
Amodel that explains both the origin and sporadic nature of cancer argues that cancer cells are a chance result of events that cause genomic and epigenetic variability. The prevailing view is that these events are mutations that affect chromosome segregation or stability. However, genomic and epigenetic variability is also triggered by cell fusion, which is(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are released from cells in association with proteins or microvesicles. We previously reported that malignant transformation changes the assortment of released miRNAs by affecting whether a particular miRNA species is released or retained by the cell. How this selectivity occurs is unclear. Here we report that selectively exported miRNAs,(More)
Chromosomal instability (CIN) underlies malignant properties of many solid cancers and their ability to escape therapy, and it might itself cause cancer [1, 2]. CIN is sustained by deficiencies in proteins, such as the tumor suppressor p53 [3-5], that police genome integrity, but the primary cause of CIN in sporadic cancers remains uncertain [6, 7]. The(More)
Splicing of pre-messenger RNA into mature messenger RNA is an essential step for the expression of most genes in higher eukaryotes. Defects in this process typically affect cellular function and can have pathological consequences. Many human genetic diseases are caused by mutations that cause splicing defects. Furthermore, a number of diseases are(More)
Canonical microRNA biogenesis requires the Microprocessor components, Drosha and DGCR8, to generate precursor-miRNA, and Dicer to form mature miRNA. The Microprocessor is not required for processing of some miRNAs, including mirtrons, in which spliceosome-excised introns are direct Dicer substrates. In this study, we examine the processing of putative human(More)