Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vine Compound Starves Cancer Cells

19.11.2018

Researchers from Würzburg and Toyama have discovered that a compound isolated from tropical rainforest vines inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in the lab.

Professor Gerhard Bringmann, an expert in natural product chemistry, and his team from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Germany, together with Professor Suresh Awale and colleagues from the Institute of Natural Medicine of the University of Toyama in Japan have discovered a new, highly effective compound, which is a promising starting point to develop new drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.


Plant-based anticancer drug – ancistrolikokine E3 inhibits the growth and colonization of pancreatic cancer cells.

(Pictures: Sévérin Muyisa / Suresh Awale)

A paper recently published in the Journal of Natural Products describes these exciting studies. The prestigious web portal "ACS News Service Weekly PressPac" of the American Chemical Society (ACS) now also presents the new findings to a broader public in a press release of 14 November 2018.

Cancer cells survive by activating the Akt/mTOR signalling pathway

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than five percent. Because these cancer cells proliferate so aggressively, they deplete nutrients and oxygen in the region of the tumor. Whereas most cells would die under such extreme conditions, pancreatic cancer cells survive by activating a cell signalling pathway called Akt/mTOR.

Some researchers are therefore looking for compounds with antiausterity properties that disrupt this pathway. Substances that are preferably toxic to cancer cells under nutrient deprived conditions are called antiausterity compounds deriving from the Greek word "austērótēs".

Alkaloids from rainforest vines

Suresh Awale, Gerhard Bringmann, and their teams previously identified some unusual alkaloids (naturally occurring organic compounds that contain nitrogen) with antiausterity potential from vines found in the Congolese rainforest.

Now the researchers from Würzburg and Japan have isolated and characterized the structure of ancistrolikokine E3 from twigs of the vine Ancistrocladus likoko, thereby identifying another promising new agent, which effectively targets PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells in the lab.

Dramatic changes to the cancer cells

Ancistrolikokine E3 causes dramatic changes to the morphology of the cancer cells (see upper right illustration), which ultimately kill them. Furthermore, the compound inhibited cancer cell migration and colonization (see lower left illustration) in lab tests, which suggests that the compound could help prevent metastasis formation in patients.

The researchers showed that the compound kills the cancer cells by inhibiting the Akt/mTOR pathway and the autophagy pathway. The studies thus support that ancistrolikokine E3 and other structurally related alkaloids could be promising compounds for anticancer drug development based on the antiausterity strategy.

The work was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), the Excellence Scholarship Program BEBUC, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Suresh Awale, Division of Natural Drug Discovery, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, T +81 76-434-760, suresh@inm.u.-toyama.ac.jp

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bringmann, Institute of Organic Chemistry of the University of Würzburg, T +49 931-318-5323, bringman@chemie.uni-wuerzburg.de

Originalpublikation:

"Ancistrolikokine E3, a 5,8‘-Coupled Naphthylisoquinoline Alkaloid, Eliminates the Tolerance of Cancer Cells to Nutrition Starvation by Inhibition of the Akt/mTOR/Autophagy Signaling Pathway". Journal of Natural Products 2018, 81, 2282-2291, doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00733

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-novembe... ACS PressPac

Robert Emmerich | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge
18.06.2019 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Uncovering hidden protein structures
18.06.2019 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Uncovering hidden protein structures

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>