A nuclear-directed human pancreatic ribonuclease (PE5) targets the metabolic phenotype of cancer cells

Ribonucleases represent a new class of antitumor RNA-damaging drugs. However, many wild-type members of the vertebrate secreted ribonuclease family are not cytotoxic because they are not able to evade the cytosolic ribonuclease inhibitor. We previously engineered the human pancreatic ribonuclease to direct it to the cell nucleus where the inhibitor is not present. The best characterized variant is PE5 that kills cancer cells through apoptosis mediated by the p21WAF1/CIP1 induction and the inactivation of JNK. Here, we have used microarray-derived transcriptional profiling to identify PE5 regulated genes on the NCI/ADR-RES ovarian cancer cell line. RT-qPCR analyses have confirmed the expression microarray findings. The results show that PE5 cause pleiotropic effects. Among them, it is remarkable the down-regulation of multiple genes that code for enzymes involved in deregulated metabolic pathways in cancer cells ​
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