Betsy T. Kren

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small approximately 22 nt noncoding (nc) RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by direct binding to target sites on mRNAs. They comprise more than 1,000 novel species in mammalian cells and exert their function by modulating gene expression through several different mechanisms, including translational(More)
MicroRNAs are aberrantly expressed in cancer; microRNA-143 (miR-143) is down-regulated in colon cancer. HCT116 human colorectal cancer cells were used to investigate the biological role of miR-143. Transient miR-143 overexpression resulted in an approximate 60% reduction in cell viability. In addition, stable miR-143 overexpressing cells were selected with(More)
The hydrophilic bile salt ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) protects against the membrane-damaging effects associated with hydrophobic bile acids. This study was undertaken to (a) determine if UDCA inhibits apoptosis from deoxycholic acid (DCA), as well as from ethanol, TGF-beta1, Fas ligand, and okadaic acid; and to (b) determine whether mitochondrial membrane(More)
There is currently no effective treatment for Huntington's disease (HD), a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and cognitive deterioration. It is well established that HD is associated with perturbation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), a naturally occurring bile acid, can stabilize the(More)
Although a variety of methods has been devised for modification of hepatic genes, none has been effective for long-term correction of genetic disorders. In this study, we employed a recently described novel experimental strategy for site-directed nucleotide exchange in genomic DNA of HuH-7 human hepatoma cells. A chimeric 2'-O-methylated-RNA/DNA(More)
Protein kinase CK2, a protein serine/threonine kinase, plays a global role in activities related to cell growth, cell death, and cell survival. CK2 has a large number of potential substrates localized in diverse locations in the cell including, for example, NF-kappaB as an important downstream target of the kinase. In addition to its involvement in cell(More)
Targeted therapies for aggressive breast cancers like triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) are needed. The use of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to disable expression of survival genes provides a tool for killing these cancer cells. Cyclin dependent kinase 11 (CDK11) is a survival protein kinase that regulates RNA transcription, splicing and mitosis.(More)
Functional and anatomical relationships among primary afferent fibers, blood vessels, and cancers are poorly understood. However, recent evidence suggests that physical and biochemical interactions between these peripheral components are important to both tumor biology and cancer-associated pain. To determine the role of these peripheral components in a(More)
Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) can induce rapid growth arrest and apoptosis in hepatic cells. Its growth suppressive effects appear to be linked to decreased phosphorylation of the protein product of the retinoblastoma gene, pRb. To characterize the role of pRb in apoptosis, we examined endogenous retinoblastoma gene (Rb) expression following(More)
BACKGROUND The hydrophilic bile salt ursodeoxycholate (UDCA) inhibits injury by hydrophobic bile acids and is used to treat cholestatic liver diseases. Interestingly, hepatocyte cell death from bile acid-induced toxicity occurs more frequently from apoptosis than from necrosis. However, both processes appear to involve the mitochondrial membrane(More)