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Scientists Rediscover Gene Target for Cancer Therapy
Date:12/15/2009

SAN MARINO, Calif., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Epeius Biotechnologies Corporation, an emerging leader in the field of targeted genetic medicine, gained international validation of the cutting-edge science behind its lead oncology product, Rexin-G, when scientists around the world rediscovered the Cyclin G1 gene to be a major locus of cancer pathogenesis and disease progression, and thus a prime target for anti-cancer therapies. Recently, scientists at the NIH National Cancer Institute investigating the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in tumor development and their utility to serve as biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and prognosis identified one particular species of miRNA (designated miR-122) that was linked to both the development and the aggressiveness of liver cancer (Coulouran et al., Oncogene, 2009).

While microRNAs are natural negative regulators of protein coding genes, miR-122 is characteristically suppressed in hepatocelluar carcinomas, and conversely its "therapeutic" re-expression was found to reverse the tumorigenic properties of the cancer cells in terms of growth, replication potential, invasion, and tumor formation (Bai et al., J Biol Chem, 2009). Scientists working in Italy and the USA, using miRNA libraries as probes in high throughput microarray assays to screen for sequences that are dysregulated in human cancers, independently implicated miR-122 in the pathogenesis of liver cancer and further demonstrated that the tumor suppressive action of this particular mRNA is manifested through the inhibition of the Cyclin G1 gene (Gramantieri et al., Cancer Res, 2009).

The finding that the natural suppression of the Cyclin G1 gene is lost in c
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SOURCE Epeius Biotechnologies Corporation
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