A new class of drugs – being developed by a major pharmaceutical company – targets an enzyme that helps cells divide; in cancer, this enzyme, called Aurora B, goes into overdrive, possibly leading to uncontrolled and abnormal cell divisions.
The University of Manchester team has been studying a chemical that blocks, or inhibits, the catalytic actions of Aurora B and has proven very effective at killing cancer cells in cultures grown in the laboratory.
“The first compounds were designed to inhibit a related enzyme called Aurora A,” said Dr Stephen Taylor, who is leading the research in Manchester’s Faculty of Life Sciences.
“But our research has shown that inhibiting Aurora B is a far more successful method of killing cancer cells and we have been strongly encouraged by these latest results.”
The research – published in the Journal of Cell Science – will be of interest to scientists around the world looking at Aurora inhibitors; there are currently more than 10 companies pursuing Aurora cancer programmes.
“Auroras have attracted worldwide attention but no one has been entirely sure which strategy to follow,” said Dr Taylor.
“Our paper clearly demonstrates that targeting Aurora B is a highly attractive avenue to pursue, although inhibition of Aurora A may still have some merits as a potential therapy.”
Early clinical trials of the Aurora-B drug’s toxicity have also been encouraging, with no major adverse effects to patients being reported. The next stage of trials to test its effectiveness is likely to start shortly.
“A lot of current cancer drugs, while effective, are also toxic; by contrast, the toxic effects of Aurora inhibitors has been relatively mild and so could provide a revolutionary new way to treat cancer in the future.”
Aurora A and B are a type of enzyme known as protein kinases; they modify other proteins by chemically adding phosphate groups to them. In cancer, both these protein kinases are ‘overexpressed’.
The University of Manchester team has been working on the Aurora B inhibitor in collaboration with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The group published an earlier paper in 2003 that highlighted the potential success of targeting Aurora B. These latest findings further strengthen the team’s belief that Aurora B inhibition is the preferred route to an effective cancer therapy.
Aeron Haworth | alfa
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine