Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UIC chemists identify compound that inhibits cell migration


A high-throughput assay developed by University of Illinois at Chicago chemists has led to discovery of a small organic compound that shows the unusual ability to inhibit cell migration. The new compound, identified as UIC-1005, may play a role in developing new kinds of cancer drugs.

The findings are published in the November issue of the journal ChemBioChem.

"We’ve been looking for chemical compounds that slow the process of cell migration," said Gabriel Fenteany, assistant professor of chemistry and the study’s principal author. "The process is poorly understood and has a lot of therapeutic potential."

Fenteany is also part of the UIC Cancer Center.

Fenteany and his co-workers grow skin-like epithelial cell sheets on tissue culture plates with many small depressions, or wells, each of which contains a culture of cells and a different chemical compound, providing the basis for the assay.

"We grow these cells and make little scratches in the resulting sheet of cells," Fenteany said. "A little gap forms, and cells move in to close that gap, similar to part of the wound healing process when you cut yourself.

"The process is also related to how a cancer cell will start to move to form a metastasis, and to how a tumor will recruit new blood vessels, which helps it grow," Fenteany said. "The phenomenon of cell shape change and movement is universal, even though details differ on how these cells move in different situations."

The assay developed by the UIC chemists makes the process to find molecules that inhibit cell movement quick and easy.

"We can easily screen a thousand compounds a day, or more," Fenteany said, adding, "We’re one of the few labs doing these sorts of screens. Therefore, there’s not really a good sense of what sorts of compounds will inhibit the process. That’s what we’re looking at."

Fenteany and his colleagues began their search using the high-throughput assay in December 2000 and discovered UIC-1005 a few months later. The new compound is from a class of molecules called oxazolidinones, which in recent years have been used successfully to develop new antibiotics that kill bacteria now resistant to older drugs. UIC-1005, however, shows no anti-bacterial properties and acts differently.

Fenteany hopes other labs adopt this high-throughput assay to hasten the discovery of additional molecules that inhibit cell migration. That search continues at UIC, along with work to modify the compound UIC-1005.

"Once you find the active structure, you can modify that structure to improve its activity, find out what it binds in the cell, and how," Fenteany said. "We’re working to find the protein it binds, and we have a candidate. Since the small molecule targets the protein and inhibits the process of cell movement, the protein becomes a potential target for drug development to block the pathway during disease."

Fenteany predicts drugs that inhibit cell migration may prove effective in combination therapies against cancer.

"A person who has had a tumor removed through surgery still faces the problem that some cancer cells escaped. By taking a cocktail of drugs, including anti-migratory compounds like UIC-1005 and other compounds we’ve yet to discover, the cancer could be more effectively contained. So even if not every cancer cell was removed by surgery or controlled in traditional chemotherapy, you’ve limited the ability of cells to move and spread and start new tumors."

Other authors are Arun Ghosh, professor of chemistry, and researchers Kevin McHenry and Sudha Ankala, all of UIC.

Funding for this research was by grants from UIC and the National Cancer Institute. Ongoing research is supported by a new grant from the American Cancer Society

Paul Francuch | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products
23.03.2018 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>