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Nat Biotechnol. 1997 Jun;15(6):529-36.

From housekeeper to microsurgeon: the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of ribonucleases.

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University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77546-1157, USA.

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  • Nat Biotechnol 1997 Oct;15(10):927.


The RNA population in cells is controlled post-transcriptionally by ribonucleases (RNases) of varying specificity. Angiogenin, neurotoxins, and plant allergens are among many proteins with RNase activity or significant homology to known RNases. RNase activity in serum and cell extracts is elevated in a variety of cancers and infectious diseases. RNases are regulated by specific activators and inhibitors, including interferons. Many of these regulatory molecules are useful lead compounds for the design of drugs to control tumor angiogenesis, allergic reactions, and viral replication. One RNase (Onconase) and several RNase activators are now in clinical trials for cancer treatment or inhibition of chronic virus infections. Several others, alone or conjugated with specific cell binding molecules, are being developed for their antifungal, antiviral, and antitumor cell activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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