Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small molecule shows promise as anti-cancer therapy

14.01.2014
Johns Hopkins scientists say a previously known but little studied chemical compound targets and shuts down a common cancer process. In studies of laboratory-grown human tumor cell lines, the drug disrupted tumor cell division and prevented growth of advanced cancer cells.

In a study described in the January 13 issue of Cancer-Cell, Marikki Laiho, M.D., Ph.D., and her colleagues say their work focused on the ability of a chemical dubbed BMH-21 to sabotage the transcription pathway RNA Polymerase pathway (POL I), shutting down the ability of mutant cancer genes to communicate with cells and replicate.

Laiho's research linked the pathway to p53 gene activity. P53 is a tumor suppressor gene, a protein that regulates cell growth, and it is the most frequently mutated suppressor gene in cancer.

Transcription pathways are the means by which certain proteins that direct cell division are put into action by cells. Uncontrolled cell division is a hallmark of cancer, and BMH-21 has demonstrated an ability to bind to the DNA of cancer cells and completely shut down this transcription pathway.

"Without this transcription machinery, cancer cells cannot function," says Marikki Laiho, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences at Johns Hopkins and senior author on the study.

Laiho said BMH-21 was identified using by screening a library of chemical compounds known to have potential for anticancer activity based on their chemical structure and capabilities. Specifically, they looked for the ability of those compounds to interfere with transcription in human tumor cells obtained through the National Cancer Institute's collection of 60 human tumor cell lines of nine different cancer types, including melanoma and colon cancer.

BMH-21 first jumped out, Laiho said, demonstrating potent action against melanoma and colon cancer cells. In fact, in these studies, the drug functioned better in upsetting these cancer cells' activities than many FDA-approved cancer drugs.

BMH-21 also appears to overcome the tendency of cancer cells to resist chemotherapeutic agents because it finds and targets proteins and shuts down the communication pathways that cells use to continue dividing.

"One of the challenges of current cancer therapies, including new targeted therapies, is a cancer cell's ability to overcome a treatment's anticancer properties. The characteristics of a cancer cell and its circuitry is very complex and results in many changes and mutations that allow the cells to continue to thrive despite cancer treatments," said Laiho.

While the findings with BMH-21 are promising, Laiho cautions much more study of the compound is needed before it would be ready for studies in patients. She and her team are continuing studies of the drug in animal models to further reveal the drug's potential against cancer and possible toxicities, and to determine dosage.

The transcription machinery the compound shuts down is common among all cancer cell types, so the researchers believe it has therapeutic potential across many tumor types.

Laiho is currently collaborating with Kimmel Cancer Center drug development experts as well as multiple myeloma blood cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, and prostate cancer experts to further explore the drug's cancer-fighting abilities. She also is collaborating with investigators at a laboratory in Helsinki, Finland, where she maintains an affiliation.

In addition to Laiho, other members of the research team include Karita Peltonen, Laureen Colis, Hester Liu, Rishi Trivedi, Michael S. Moubarek, Henna M. Moore, Bayoan Bai, Michelle Rudek, and Charles J. Bieberich.

The research was supported by the Academy of Finland, Biomedicum Helsinki Foundation, Cancer Society Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Patrick C. Walsh Cancer Research Fund, the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University start-up funds, and the Analytical Pharmacology Core of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Amy Mone | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hopkinscancer.org
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/radiation_oncology/
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Algorithms Offer Insight into Cellular Development
31.08.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cancer: Molecularly shutting down cancer cachexia
31.08.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Virtual Reality: 3D Human Body Reconstruction from Fraunhofer HHI digitizes Human Beings

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI have developed a method by which the realistic image of a person can be transmitted into a virtual world. The 3D Human Body Reconstruction Technology captures real persons with multiple cameras at the same time and creates naturally moving dynamic 3D models. At this year’s trade fairs IFA in Berlin (Hall 11.1, Booth 3) and IBC in Amsterdam (Hall 8, Booth B80) Fraunhofer HHI will show this new technology.

Fraunhofer HHI researchers have developed a camera system that films people with a perfect three-dimensional impression. The core of this system is a stereo...

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cancer: Molecularly shutting down cancer cachexia

31.08.2016 | Life Sciences

Robust fuel cell heating unit developed

31.08.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Algorithms Offer Insight into Cellular Development

31.08.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>