Funded by the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund
Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Its incidence continues to increase, posing a significant threat to public health. A leading risk factor is the chronic exposure to liver stress, which, in turn, enhances the uncontrolled division of cancer cells and tumor growth. Proteins are the functional units within cells. They are made from the instructions stored in DNA and carried by messenger RNA (mRNA) through a process known as translation. Notably, the information stored in DNA is not static and can be modified to alter the outcome of translation to promote cancer growth. Two of these modifications are called ‘RNA oxidation’ and ‘RNA acetylation’, which are induced in liver cells in response to cellular stress, and their levels correlate with tumor growth. Thus, this study will investigate how the interplay between RNA modifications and translation promotes liver cancer. The results obtained in this study will allow for future clinical efforts to fight liver cancer.