This week in therapeutics




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Hepatic disease

Liver failure

Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MAP2K4; MKK4)

Mouse studies suggest antagonizing MKK4 could help treat liver failure. In mouse models for acute or chronic liver failure, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of Mkk4 decreased fibrosis and increased both hepatocyte regeneration and survival compared with no knockdown. Next steps include reproducing the results in cultured human hepatocytes and identifying selective MKK4 inhibitors.

SciBX 6(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.416
Published online May 2, 2013

Patents pending; available for licensing

Wuestefeld, T. et al. Cell;
published online April 11, 2013;
Contact: Lars Zender, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany