oblimersen sodium

Definition / meaning of oblimersen sodium

The sodium salt of a phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotide targeted to the initiation codon region of mRNA for the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-2. Oblimersen inhibits Bcl-2 mRNA translation, which may result in decreased expression of the Bcl-2 protein and tumor cell apoptosis. This agent may enhance the efficacy of standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. The anti-apoptotic bcl-2 protein is an integral outer mitochondrial membrane protein (OMMP) that is overexpressed in some cancer cell types and is linked to tumor drug resistance.

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The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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