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New polysaccharide may help combat multidrug resistance in cancer

pathways in inflammatory, embryonic and cancer cells.

In their current Journal of Biological Chemistry paper, Dr. Toole and his colleagues report on further studies which indicate that hyaluronan increases the cellular production of a multidrug transporter protein by binding to CD44. They discovered that antagonist molecules that bind to hyaluronan and prevent it from interacting with CD44 were able to sensitize multidrug resistant breast cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers also found that increasing hyaluronan synthesis in cells increased resistance to drug treatment.

"Our work indicates that hyaluronan antagonists, for example small hyaluronan oligomers, reverse the malignant properties of cancer cells, including proliferation, invasiveness, and drug resistance," explains Dr. Toole. "Hyaluronan oligomers are non-toxic, non-immunogenic, and readily applicable to several proliferative disease processes, especially cancer. We are hoping that hyaluronan antagonists can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy such that much lower and less toxic doses of chemotherapeutic agents can be used."


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Source:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


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