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Cell. 1993 Dec 17;75(6):1107-17.

Tumor suppression by RNA from the 3' untranslated region of alpha-tropomyosin.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5332.


NMU2, a nondifferentiating mutant myogenic cell line, gives rise to rhabdomyosarcomas in mice. We show that constitutive expression of RNA from 0.2 kb of the alpha-tropomyosin (Tm) 3' untranslated region (UTR), but not control 3'UTRs, suppresses anchorage-independent growth and tumor formation by NMU2 cells. When beta-galactosidase (beta-gal)-labeled cells were implanted into muscles of adult mouse hindlimbs, Tm 3'UTR expression suppressed the proliferation, invasion, and destruction of muscle tissues characteristic of NMU2. In the rare tumors that developed from Tm 3'UTR transfectants, RNA expression was extinguished. These results suggest that suppression of tumorigenicity is dependent on the continued expression of Tm transcripts lacking a coding region. We conclude that untranslated RNAs can function as regulators (riboregulators) that suppress tumor formation.

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