Finding Parallels

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Science  06 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6150, pp. 1044
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6150.1044-d

The transcription factor nuclear factor I-A (NFIA) controls genetic programs implicated in cellular metabolism and the migration of normal glial cells. NFIA is overexpressed in some gliomas: tumors of the central nervous system that contain cells resembling glial cells. In the hematopopietic system, NFIA is regulated by the microRNA miR-223. Glasgow et al. now document a similar relationship of NFIA and miR-223 in glial cells and in gliomas. Their results show that during normal development, miR-223 represses NFIA and blocks the proliferation of glial precurors; the cells are then left to switch into differentiation pathways. In gliomas, miR-223, which may be expressed in only some gliomas, can repress NFIA and thus suppress glioma cell growth. These results pave the way to understanding what is and is not parallel between normal development and cancer.

J. Neurosci. 33, 13560 (2013).

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