Cancer treatment could be boosted by the news that the end parts of cellular protein templates could have a role in the development of cancer.
The end sections of mRNA have been found to be pivotal in the process that causes cells to become cancerous.
Researchers discovered that cells in which end sections of the mRNA were shorter or missing were producing between two and 40 times more protein than their normal-length counterparts.
Christine Mayr, first author of the Cell paper and a former postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Whitehead Member David Bartel, commented: "This end of the mRNA is often not considered that important because if you put the beginning and middle of the mRNA into a cell, you get the right protein.
"But now we know that this end often has a protein production regulatory program and in some cases can play a role in cancer."
In other news, a recent study found that the mortality rates as a result of cancer have been steadily declining over the past three decades.