Counteracting inhibition of apoptosis by c-Myc, Bcl-2, and c-FLIP: A multifaceted approach to inducing cell death
Apoptosis is essential to normal growth and development. Discrepancies in the timing, location, and progression of apoptosis produce a number of conditions. More specifically, abnormalities in the expression of c-Myc, a transcription factor that regulates cell growth and development, have been correlated with cell proliferation. Expression of Bcl-2, a mitochondrial protein, antagonizes the apoptotic function of c-Myc. A multifaceted approach is introduced that seeks to inhibit c-Myc, Bcl-2, and c-FLIP. Synthetic nucleic acids, called aptamers, have been selected against a number of pathogenic proteins and are a promising means of inhibiting these protein targets. Aptamers bind with high specificity and high affinity to their protein targets and are powerful tools in diagnostics and therapeutics. Aptamers against c-Myc, Bcl-2, and c-FLIP are expected to provide a new avenue for the activation of apoptosis in diseased cells which refuse to die. The results from multiple rounds of selection are discussed.