I cannot find a clear explanation for why mRNA is used as cancer biomarker and not tRNA or rRNA. Is there something peculiar about mRNA which cannot be fulfilled by tRNA or rRNA?

  • $\begingroup$ @ParthReghav what source are you seeing that mRNA is used as a cancer biomarker? mRNA is the protein coding RNA and it is proteins that are tumor suppressors or oncogenes - the answer to you question likely has its roots in that explanation $\endgroup$ Feb 23 '16 at 16:05

mRNAs encode specific genes and perform specific functions whereas the other two perform housekeeping functions in all cells. Changes in their expression are related to global changes in the cell.

The expression of rRNA and tRNA is affected in certain conditions such as stress and also possibly cancer (may be due to high replication rates). However, even if they are affected in cancer you cannot use them as markers for specific cancers as they are present and highly expressed in all cells.

Therefore specific tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes are studied.


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