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October 8, 2009

ULM professor publishes an article in online peer-reviewed journal

PLos One, an interactive open-access journal of peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, has published the cancer research of a University of Louisiana at Monroe assistant professor of pharmacology.

Professor Yong-Yu Liu's previous research shows that the drug-resistant gene, glucosylceramide synthase (GCS), is a potential candidate for cancer chemotherapy.

His study published in PLoS One reports that a novel way has been found to reverse the gene's drug resistance, using a new mixed-backbone oligonucleotide, identified as MBO-asGCS. This new DNA-RNA oligonucleotide specifically disrupts the GCS "bad" gene and kills more cancer cells.

"This work is very important for understanding the mystery of cancer drug resistance," said Liu. "And MBO-asGCS is a highly promising agent. It might substantially reduce chemotherapy failure and the side-effects of chemotherapy."

Dr. Liu's work is in collaboration with Drs. Girish V. Shah and Paul W. Sylvester of the ULM College of Pharmacy, and is supported with funding from the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network.

More than 500,000 Americans die every year from cancer, due to the failure of chemotherapy treatments. A cancer cell's drug resistance is the result of gene alteration and represents the biological basis for the chemotherapy failures, said Liu.

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