Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
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.
Tiffany MacKenzie, Graduate Student