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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Surgery

PI: Ashok K. Saluja

Triptolide Induces Expression of miR-129* and miR-142-3p in Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Triptolide inhibits cancer cell growth in vitro and blocks growth and metastatic spread in vivo. These researchers have shown that triptolide triggers apoptosis via inhibition of HSP70 expression. As small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression, miRNAs are now recognized as powerful gatekeepers of apoptosis. Understanding the effect of a drug on miRNA expression has led to the identification of miRNAs that mediate apoptosis and chemosensitivity. The researchers are attempting to understand how triptolide affects microRNA and mRNA expression, which will allow them to elucidate the molecular mechanism of action of triptolide so that they may maximize its effectiveness.

Group Member

Tiffany MacKenzie, Graduate Student