Khalid and collaborators, including Rehan Zafar Paracha, conducted a research on breast cancer. They reported novel biomarkers including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and their messenger RNA (mRNA) targets that can be used in novel therapeutic strategies.
IET Systems Biology
Khalid and collaborators, including Rehan Zafar Paracha, provided a detailed background information on the topic of breast cancer and the research associated with this study. They noted that breast cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer as it is associated with high mortality rate in the world. This disease also shows high level of prevalence and one of the reasons of this prevalence and high mortality is its poor prognosis, i.e., it is not sure what would be the outcome related to the disease. lncRNAs have been found to have a key role in the development of cancer and regulation of several cellular pathways utilizing post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. In the case of breast cancer, several studies have already shown abnormal expression of lncRNA genes. lncRNAs can behave not only as oncogenes but also as tumor suppressor genes, depending on the expression patterns and functions in tumor tissues.
Khalid and collaborators have also thoroughly discussed the methods and the methods could be replicated. The researchers conducted their study for the identification of interactions of genetic components that are expressed abnormally in breast cancer. They applied integrative analysis of expression profiles of lncRNAs and mRNAs that are publicly available. In order to assess the differences in the expression patterns, the researchers compared the expression of samples with controls.
Khalid and collaborators found that several lncRNAs and their target mRNAs were differently expressed. Those differently expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs include RP11-108F13.2 targeting TAF5L; RPL23AP2 targeting CYP4F3 and CYP4F8; AL022324.2 targeting LRP5L, AL022324.3, and Z99916.3. The researchers reported that these identified mRNAs and lncRNAs are also involved in key cell signaling pathways. For instance, LRP5L is involved in the regulation of Wnt signaling pathway; CYP4F3 and CYP4F8 are involved in Arachodonic acid metabolism, and TAF5L is involved in the pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) induced signalling and the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) pathway associated with breast cancer. The researchers have also provided figures and tables to understand the process.
They have also provided some of the limitations of the present study based on which further research could be conducted as, for example, they noted that the molecular or functional annotation of lncRNAs was very limited, and further studies could be conducted on this aspect of research. Another point that has been discussed only in the abstract of the paper is that the study needs to be validated in wet labs for confirmation of these biomarkers to be used as potential targets of cancer in future.
Khalid, M., Paracha, R. Z., Nisar, M., Malik, S., Tariq, S., Arshad, I., Siddiqa, A., Hussain, Z., Ahmad, J., & Ali, A. (2021). Long non-coding RNAs and their targets as potential biomarkers in breast cancer. IET Syst Biol. https://doi.org/10.1049/syb2.12020