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J Cell Physiol. 2006 Dec;209(3):695-700.

Therapeutic biology: checkpoint pathway activation therapy, HIV Tat, and transkingdom RNA interference.

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  • 1ArQule Biomedical Institute, ArQule Inc., Boston, MA 02062, USA.


Therapeutic biology is an exciting new frontier in the post-genomic era with the mission to better human health. The explosive increase in the understanding of molecular and regulatory biology has enabled the identification of a plethora of potential targets and pathways for the discovery of new medicines. Conversely, molecularly based therapeutic intervention of biological aberrations in human diseases offers a test of the depth of our understanding of biology. This article discusses three examples of therapeutic biology research. The first concerns the treatment of cancer by activating genome surveillance circuitry, namely checkpoint-pathway activation therapy. The second example is the identification of the HIV Tat protein as both a cause of immune cell activation and apoptosis, and as a vaccine candidate against HIV infection. The third example describes transkingdom RNA interference and its application in the investigational and therapeutic silencing of disease genes.

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