New molecule links asthma, cancer

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A newly discovered molecule may play a role in controlling both asthma-induced airway muscle thickening and tumor growth—and manipulating it may lead to new asthma and cancer drugs, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The researchers discovered the molecule, “microRNA-10a,” using state-of-the-art sequencing, and found that it regulates pathways that control cell proliferation.

The study was published in the May issue of The FASEB Journal.

“We hope this study will serve as the fundamental building block for future follow-up studies on evaluating microRNA-10a’s potential in treatment asthma and uncontrolled tumor growth,” said senior author Quan Lu, associate professor of environmental genetics and pathophysiology at HSPH, in a May 1, 2014 Science Daily article.