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Cancer Gene Ther. 2007 Jan;14(1):1-11. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Antisense and nonantisense effects of antisense Bcl-2 on multiple roles of Bcl-2 as a chemosensitizer in cancer therapy.

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International Radiation Information Center, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.


Bcl-2 is an oncoprotein that plays a critical role in inhibiting apoptotic cell death in the mitochondria-dependent pathway in cancer chemotherapy. As a strategy for blocking Bcl-2 for enhancement of the chemotherapeutic effect, antisense Bcl-2 (AS Bcl-2; G3139, oblimersen sodium, Genasense) has shown promise, and there are several ongoing clinical studies with hematological malignancies as well as solid tumors. Although several preclinical and clinical studies have shown the therapeutic efficacy of Bcl-2 in combination with an anticancer drug as a chemosensitizer, in clinical trials the downregulation of Bcl-2 has not been observed with a high frequency in tumor cells. Nevertheless, previous studies showed nonantisense effects such as production of reactive oxygen species and immunostimulatory action through cytosine-phosphate-guanosine-motif in the antisense oligodeoxynucleotides. Further, Bcl-2 is able to inhibit Beclin 1-dependent autophagic cell death, which is a nonapoptotic cell death. The current status and future directions of AS Bcl-2 and the potential mechanisms for multiple roles that Bcl-2 has in cancer therapy are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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