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Therapeutic applications

The discovery of catalytic RNAs introduced the possibility of constructing therapeutic RNAs capable of performing trans-cleavage reactions. This type of ribozyme binds the substrates by base-pairing, cleaves the target RNA, and then liberates the cleavage products. With the aim of preventing the expression of two products of the Tpl2/cot gene, Proto-Cot and Cot, that are overexpressed in 40% of breast tumors, Yanli Li who did his Ph.D. thesis in our group, inserted into hairpin ribozymes, the sequence of 22 nucleotides from the Tpl2/cot gene. We caracterized these new ribozymes that are capable of cleaving the inserted fragment in cis and in trans (Li et al, 2007, 2008, 2009).

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