Tumor Suppressor MicroRNAs Controlling Cancer Cell Growth

Description (Set) Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered two microRNAs that are expressed in normal blood cells, but are not expressed in virtually any of the leukemia-lymphoma cell lines and primary patient samples which have been tested to date. The miRNAs are not expressed in other types of solid tumor cell lines. Functional studies of these two microRNAs reveal that they control cancer cell growth and apoptotic state. Replacement of either of these microRNAs significantly slows the growth of cancer cell lines, and makes them much more sensitive to chemotherapeutic agents such as methotexate, staurosporine, and camptothecin. Additionally, drug resistant cell lines become highly sensitive to chemotherapeutic agents after replacement of either of these two microRNAs. Finally, normal hematopoietic human stem-progenitor cells are not affected by these microRNAs indicating that these microRNAs may have a relatively large therapeutic index. Proposed Use (Set) Cancers grow uncontrollably and become drug resistant. The microRNAs detailed here slow cancer cell growth, and make cancers more sensitive to chemotherapy. These two microRNAs represent two new compounds for the treatment of cancer, and they may be used directly to affect cancer growth or kill cancer cells, additionally they make cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy and may therefore allow for the use of lower doses of drugs to kill cancers or make drug resistant cancer stem cells more amenable to killing.

Inventor(s): Georgantas, Robert ,Civin, Curt I.,Scheibner, Kara

Type of Offer: Licensing

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