Cancer Markers pp 445-462 | Cite as

Transfer RNA and Its By-Products as Tumor Markers

  • Ernest Borek
Part of the Contemporary Biomedicine book series (CB, volume 1)


Transfer RNA (tRNA) is functionally the most versatile of the biomacromolecules. DNA, as far as it is known, is an inert repository of information. Messenger RNA (mRNA) has only a unitary function, namely, to carry the information from the DNA to the cytoplasm. Transfer RNA, on the other hand, has a large variety of known functions, and others are probably still unrevealed. The function that was discovered first, namely, transporting amino acids to the assembly site of proteins, has dominated the concepts of scientists who are not familiar with this very fascinating and very complex molecule. However, subsequently, it was demonstrated in a number of laboratories that tRNA is, as predicted from the species specificity of its structure, a regulatory molecule (Borek, 1963). It regulates at all levels. It can regulate gene expression at the transcription level. It can regulate translation of messenger RNA during protein synthesis, providing an additional control of gene expression. A tRNA molecule is an absolute requirement for the reverse transcriptase, which transcribes RNA into DNA. Furthermore, tRNA has been shown to regulate the biosynthesis of its cognate amino acid.


Phenylboronic Acid BeWo Cell Excretion Level Modify Nucleoside Aminoisobutyric Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The HUMANA Press Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Borek
    • 1
  1. 1.AMC Cancer Research Center and HospitalLakewoodUSA

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