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 Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>