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Professor Zhigang Guo Explores the Future of Anticancer Drugs

A crucial process has been made about antitumor drugs by Zhigang Guo's team (Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular and Medical Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University), and the result was published on November 14, 2016.

Up to now, chemotherapy remains to be one of the major methods to tumor treatment. Most chemotherapeutic agents used in clinic today kill cells by interfering DNA replication or inducing DNA damage, which in turn lead to cell apoptosis. However, cancer cells have evolved a compilation of highly effective DNA replication and repair systems to restore themselves quickly and generate drug resistance. Therefore, in the process of chemotherapy, the application of inhibitor on DNA replication and repair makes it possible to largely improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

FEN1(Flap Endonuclease 1) is a kind of albumen that plays critical roles in DNA replication and repair. Professor Guo, together with his team, has spent over 10 years on FEN1 research in which they revealed the significant connections between the generation and progression of tumor. The research results indicated that suppression of FEN1 in cells leads to the retardation of DNA replication and repair followed by damage on drug resistance. On the basis of long-time research, Professor Guo, together with his team, has invented a kind of inhibitor targeting FEN1 which is named as SC13. The dual-function SC13 can both inhibit the replication and repair of DNA which makes it a better choice for anti-tumor treatment comparing with some traditional chemotherapeutic agents and other international inhibitors. Cells and zoology experiments demonstrated that SC13 could largely enhance tumor’s sensibility to chemotherapeutic agents (such as cisplatin, paclitaxel, and alkylating agents). Under the equal therapeutic effect, the combination of chemotherapeutic agents and SC13 can reduce the dosage of chemotherapeutic agents substantially, lower the treatment costs and avoid drug resistance.

This achievement was published on eBiomedicine (http//dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.11.012) entitled “Targeting DNA Flap Endonuclease 1 to impede breast cancer progression”. eBiomedicine is a newly published journal by Cell, the top journal in the fundamental research field of life sciences and Lancet, the leading journal in the field of clinical medicine aiming at promoting the transformation of fundamental research to clinical application. As for eBiomedicine, among all the articles submitted, only 3.6% will be adopted. Professor Guo is the corresponding author, lecturer Lingfeng He,doctoral student Yilan Zhang, and Hongfang Sun are the first authors. This research has gained support from domestic and overseas scientific researchers including those from the City of Hope National Medical Center.