Plant derivative could help refine cancer treatment
Medical College of Georgia researchers are seeking to refine cancer treatment with an anti-inflammatory plant derivative long used in Chinese medicine.
Celastrol, derived from trees and shrubs called celastracaea, has been used for centuries in China to treat symptoms such as fever, chills, joint pain and inflammation. The MCG researchers think it may also play a role in cancer treatment by inactivating a protein required for cancer growth.
That protein, P23, is one of many proteins helping the heat shock protein 90. Scientists are just beginning to realize the potential of controlling inflammation-related diseases, including cancer, by inhibiting HSP90.
"Cancer cells need HSP90 more than normal cells because cancer cells have thousands of mutations," said Dr. Ahmed Chadli, biochemist in the MCG Center for Molecular Chaperones/Radiobiology and Cancer Virology. "They need chaperones all the time to keep their mutated proteins active. By taking heat shock proteins away from cells, the stabilization is taken away and cell death occurs."
But most HSP90 inhibitors lack selectivity, disabling the functions of all proteins activated by HSP90 rather than only the ones implicated in a specific tumor. Those proteins vary from one tumor to another.
Dr. Chadli and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic believe celastrol holds the key to specificity, targeting the HSP90-activated protein required for folding steroid receptors.
"The celastrol induces the protein to form fibrils and clusters it together, which inactivates it," said Dr. Chadli, whose research was published in the January edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry. "When they are clustered, they're not available for other functions that help cancer grow."
The research was funded by a seed grant from the MCG Cardiovascular Discovery Institute and a Scientist Development Grant from The American Heart Association.
Dr. Chadli envisions future studies on cancer patients using even more potent derivatives of celastrol.
"They can hopefully be used in combination with other therapeutic agents to reduce the probability of cancer resistance," he said.
Jennifer Hilliard | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...