A critical enzyme used to prepare a powerful cancer-killing agent may be able to help drug makers better target the cells the natural product attacks, according to findings published in the May 23 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Building on their earlier research into neocarzinostatin, a team of researchers from Boston College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison discovered that one of the enzymes contained in the bacteria used to produce the drug may hold promise in creating newer, more stable compounds from the structurally complex class of antibiotic known as chromoproteins.
"We've revealed that the enzyme is loose in specificity, which means it may be able to be used to make new drugs," said Boston College Chemist Steven D. Bruner, a co-author of the report. "Based on these findings, we foresee success in the lab making certain compounds more controllable."
In addition to Bruner, the research team includes BC graduate student Heather A. Cooke and University of Wisconsin Professor Ben Shen and researchers Yinggang Luo, Shuangjun Lin and Jian Zhang.
Used as a chemotherapeutic, the drug – an enediyne anti-tumor agent – targets both normal and cancer cells, says Bruner, an assistant professor of chemistry. But the team has determined that the chemical components of the antibiotic are capable of distinguishing between normal cells and cancer cells.
The latest research confirmed the team's proposal that the naphthoic acid within the compound can be altered to design cancer-fighting drugs specific to chemotherapeutic targets. That will require the use of genetic engineering in order to manipulate the molecules within the bacteria, which occurs naturally in soil.
Genetic engineering will enable researchers to produce more specific and less toxic analogs of neocarzinostatin and increase the available supply of the drug, Bruner says.
"This is the beginning of an approach to be able to understand and manipulate these chemical pathways to make new drugs," says Bruner.
Ed Hayward | EurekAlert!
‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie
Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy