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Apr 14, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Antisoma's MOA support

Antisoma plc has been developing its AS1411 for acute myelogenous leukemia and renal cancer based on its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Exactly how the aptamer does this has not been well understood.

Last week, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Daniel Fernandes and colleagues at the Medical University of South Carolina published studies in breast cancer cell lines in Cancer Researchthat support a previously suspected role for AS1411 in destabilizing Bcl-2 mRNA.

AS1411 binds with high affinity to nucleolin, an RNA-binding protein that has been implicated in many cellular processes including rDNA transcription, rRNA maturation and ribosome assembly. Nucleolin also functions as a cell surface receptor and can shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus.

The protein was first described in 1973, and experiments linking it with cancer began to appear in the literature in the late 1980s. However, it was not initially viewed as a very good target, according to Antisoma spokesperson Daniel Elger.

"What was known for a long time was that nucleolin is present in every cell in the body and is associated with several key processes such as growth, division and replication," he told BioCentury. "It was associated with highly proliferative cells, so in the...

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