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SNORA42 Identified as Novel Oncogene in Colorectal Cancer

Increased SNORA42 expression is independent prognostic factor for overall, disease-free survival

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), SNORA42 seems to be a novel oncogene that can predict recurrence and prognosis, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Gut.

Yoshinaga Okugawa, M.D., Ph.D., from Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues assessed expression levels of four small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) in 274 colorectal tissues from three cohorts and six colon cancer cell lines. A series of in vitro and in vivo experiments was conducted to characterize the role of SNORA42 in CRC.

The researchers found that expression levels of all four snoRNAs were elevated significantly in CRC tissues compared with corresponding normal mucosa in the screening phase. Increased SNORA42 expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall and disease-free survival in the clinical validation cohort and was a risk factor for distant metastasis. In an additional independent cohort, there was a negative correlation for SNORA42 expression with overall survival; SNORA42 also identified patients with high risk for recurrence and poor prognosis in stage II CRC. SNORA42 overexpression resulted in enhanced cell proliferation, migration, invasion, anoikis resistance, and tumorigenicity in in vitro and in vivo analyses.

“SNORA42 appears to be a novel oncogene and could serve as a promising predictive biomarker for recurrence and prognosis in patients with CRC,” the authors write.

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