One mechanism by which activated KRAS may influence the phenotype of neighboring cells is by regulating the packaging of tiny RNAs called microRNAs (miRNAs) in small, bubble-like vesicles called exosomes.
Vanderbilt University researchers have found a potential clue to how this is done through spatiotemporal regulation of Argonaute 2 (Ago2), a component of the RNA-induced silencing complex that can degrade messenger RNA.
Inhibition of the enzyme MEK reverses this effect and leads to increased exosomal secretion of Ago2. The findings underscore the important roles miRNAs and exosomes play in cancer.
This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (CA179514, CA163563, CA095103).