DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ARTICLE: http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/nn900277t
Debabrata Dash, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc.
Professor and Head
Department of Biochemistry
Institute of Medical Sciences
Banaras Hindu University
ARTICLE #3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Gene silencing" may improve treatment of a deadly complication of liver disease
A technique that "silences," or turns off, genes shows promise as a potential new treatment for liver fibrosis the disease that leads to cirrhosis scientists in Tennessee are reporting. Their study is scheduled for the June 1 issue of ACS' Molecular Pharmaceutics, a bi-monthly journal. Cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States.
Ram Mahato and colleagues note that fibrosis involves build-up of scar tissue in the liver from chronic liver damage caused by hepatitis, alcohol abuse, toxins, or other factors. Advanced fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver becomes so severely damaged that patients may require a transplant. There is no effective treatment, and patients urgently need new medications. Scientists believe one may emerge from the fascinating discovery that a protein called TGF-beta 1 triggers liver inflammation and that blocking the protein may help.
The researchers designed 10 chemically synthesized substances, termed siRNAs, with the ability to block or "silence" the TGF-beta 1 gene in the liver. When put into rat liver cells, the "gene silencers" decreased levels of type 1 collagen whose excessive production leads to fibrosis, as well as two other substances known to trig
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American Chemical Society