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!
Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto
Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy