A research group led by the pharmacologist Prof. Dr. Achim Aigner from the University of Leipzig has now developed an experimental therapy model with so-called RNA molecules to inhibit tumor growth. The findings are based on a joint study by scientists from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the University of Leipzig, which was funded by the Wilhelm Sander Foundation.
MicroRNAs, or miRNAs for short, are small RNA molecules that in principle represent interesting pharmacological agents for therapeutic use, since certain miRNAs can suppress tumor growth. However, miRNAs are initially completely unsuitable as pharmaceuticals: As molecules, they are relatively large, very unstable and only reach their site of action in the body with great difficulty. Therefore, the scientists first have to convert the miRNAs into suitable active forms and package them in nanoparticles, for example. The research group led by Prof. Achim Aigner from the Rudolf Boehm Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, Clinical Pharmacology has developed such specific nanoparticles.
In the experimental therapy model of the mouse, the Leipzig working group was able to prove that such nanoparticle-packaged microRNAs, here the so-called miR-143, actually inhibit tumor growth. In further studies, the scientists will combine the therapy model with current clinical forms of therapy, such as hormone suppression or chemotherapy. Long-term goals are to make the treatment of prostate cancer more effective, to further improve the nanoparticles and to make them more tolerable in terms of side effects.
Original publications in
"Science Direct": Exploring the MIR143-UPAR Axis for the Inhibition of Human Prostate Cancer Cells In Vitro and In Vivo. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 16, 272-283. DOI:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.02.020
“Drug Delivery of siRNA Therapeutics” "Polymeric Nanoparticles Based on Tyrosine-Modified, Low Molecular Weight Polyethylenimines for siRNA Delivery", DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics11110600.
Source: Press release from the University of Leipzig from June 21.04.2020th, XNUMX
Bacteria are active in the human body, some of whose genes are much older than those of humans themselves. The research by bioinformatician Sarah Berkemer from the University of Leipzig and her colleague Shawn McGlynn from the Institute "Earth Life Science" at the Technical University of Tokyo is based on this finding . They have now published their findings, with which they delved deep into the developmental history of bacteria, in the renowned journal "Molecular Biology and Evolution".
Industrial psychologist Prof. Dr. Hannes Zacher from the University of Leipzig and his team want to use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the role of work in the development of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and depression. So far, work and organizational psychology have neglected this problem, says Zacher. The Volkswagen Foundation supports his project with a "Momentum" grant over the next six years with up to 831.800 euros. In this way, scientists are supported in an early phase after starting their first life professorship in order to give them opportunities to further develop their professorship in terms of content and strategy.