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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
New Therapeutic Strategy Targets Dengue Virus Using Artificial microRNAs

New Rochelle, NY, July 11, 2013—Mosquito-borne dengue viruses cause an estimated 50 million cases of human dengue fever a year and are a significant public health threat worldwide. A novel therapeutic approach prevents dengue virus from reproducing in humans by targeting and silencing key regions of the dengue genome essential for viral replication. This innovative treatment strategy and the successful results of initial testing are presented in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers. The article is available on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website.

Pei-wen Xie, Yu Xie, Xiu-juan Zhang, Hai Huang, Li-na He, Xue-jun Wang, and Sheng-qi Wang, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine and Second Artillery General Hospital, Beijing, and Central South University, Changsha, China, identified multiple regions in the dengue virus genome that have maintained the same nucleic sequence over long periods of evolution. These highly conserved regions are ideal targets for antiviral drug development as they are unlikely to mutate and allow the virus to develop drug resistance.

In the article "Inhibition of Dengue Virus 2 Replication by Artificial MicroRNAs Targeting the Conserved Regions," the authors describe how they constructed artificial short strands of nucleic acids called microRNAs that specifically target these conserved sites in the dengue virus genome. Their experiments led to the identification of the most effective combinations of microRNAs capable of inhibiting the virus from replication in humans.

“The dengue virus is endemic in over 100 countries and spreading rapidly," says Executive Editor Fintan Steele, PhD, SomaLogic, Inc., Boulder, CO. “In the absence of effective preventive measures, new treatments like those being pursued by Xie et al. are desperately needed.”

Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is under the editorial leadership of Co-Editors-in-Chief Bruce A. Sullenger, PhD, Duke Translational Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, and C.A. Stein, MD, PhD, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; and Executive Editor Fintan Steele, PhD (SomaLogic, Boulder, CO).

About the Journal
Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is an authoritative, peer-reviewed journal published bimonthly in print and online that focuses on cutting-edge basic research, therapeutic applications, and drug development using nucleic acids or related compounds to alter gene expression. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics is the Official Journal of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society. Complete tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed on the Nucleic Acid Therapeutics website.

About the Society
The Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society is an open, nonprofit forum to foster academia and industry-based research and development of oligonucleotide therapeutics.  The society brings together the expertise from different angles of oligonucleotide research to create synergies and to bring the field of oligonucleotides to its full therapeutic potential.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Human Gene Therapy and Human Gene Therapy Methods, Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, and DNA and Cell Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers website.