DTRF-funded investigators at Stanford have developed a novel technique to analyze RNA from paraffin embedded tissue. This is important as many more paraffin embedded samples are available for study than frozen. Currently this technology is being used to study “usual” coding mRNA in desmoids in the Stanford lab. In this study they will be including the study of a new class of “non-coding RNA” and to examine the role of these molecules in the clinical behavior of desmoids. Conventional standard microarray expression profiling has been limited in that it only measures known genes that contain probes on the array platform. The new method being used allows for identification of novel transcripts. The new class of RNA (large intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA)) is thought to be a major regulator of gene expression. In the past year it has been shown that over one thousand evolutionarily conserved lincRNA’s are expressed in mammalian cells and that expression of these lincRNA’s correlates significantly with genes important in carcinogenesis. The long term goal is that the characterization of lincRNA’s in DT will lead to new diagnostic markers and treatment strategies for DT.
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