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Publications (2)6.94 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mesothelin, a differentiation antigen present in a series of malignancies such as mesothelioma, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancer, has been studied as a marker for diagnosis and a target for immunotherapy. We, however, were interested in evaluating the effects of direct targeting of Mesothelin on the viability of cancer cells as the first step towards developing a novel therapeutic strategy. We report here that gene specific silencing for Mesothelin by distinct methods (siRNA and microRNA) decreased viability of cancer cells from different origins such as mesothelioma (H2373), ovarian cancer (Skov3 and Ovcar-5) and pancreatic cancer (Miapaca2 and Panc-1). Additionally, the invasiveness of cancer cells was also significantly decreased upon such treatment. We then investigated pro-oncogenic signaling characteristics of cells upon mesothelin-silencing which revealed a significant decrease in phospho-ERK1 and PI3K/AKT activity. The molecular mechanism of reduced invasiveness was connected to the reduced expression of β-Catenin, an important marker of EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition). Ero1, a protein involved in clearing unfolded proteins and a member of the ER-Stress (endoplasmic reticulum-stress) pathway was also markedly reduced. Furthermore, Mesothelin silencing caused a significant increase in fraction of cancer cells in S-phase. In next step, treatment of ovarian cancer cells (OVca429) with a lentivirus expressing anti-mesothelin microRNA resulted in significant loss of viability, invasiveness, and morphological alterations. Therefore, we propose the inhibition of Mesothelin as a potential novel strategy for targeting human malignancies.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e33214. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viruses function in close harmony with the signaling machinery of their host. Upon exposure to the cell, a battery of viral products become engaged in boosting friendly signaling elements of the host or suppressing harmful ones. The efficiency of viral replication is indeed the biological outcome of this interaction between cellular and host signaling molecules. Oncolytic viruses, natural or man-made, follow the same set of rules of engagement. Pro-oncogenic cell signaling machinery, therefore, is undoubtedly the most important area influencing the development of the next generation of effective, specific and rationally designed oncolytic viruses. Ras signaling, with its central role in what is known today as molecular oncology, is an attractive topic for studying the behavior of viruses versus cancer cells and to develop strategies to target cancer cells on the basis of such platform. This work reviews the development of oncolytic herpes viruses capable of targeting Ras signaling pathway along with a few other examples of viruses which are developed to contain specificity for certain pro-oncogenic characteristics of their host cells.
    Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 07/2011; 13(9):1742-9. · 3.40 Impact Factor