Navigation Links
Argyrin: Natural substance raises hope for new cancer therapies
Date:7/8/2008

The effective treatment of many forms of cancer continues to pose a major problem for medicine. Many tumours fail to respond to standard forms of chemotherapy or become resistant to the medication. Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and Leibniz-Universitt (LUH) in Hanover have now discovered a chemical mechanism with which a natural substance - argyrin - destroys tumours. Today, the researchers publish their findings in the renowned scientific journal Cancer Cell.

The basis for this breakthrough was an observation made by the MHH scientist Prof. Nisar Malek: he had been studying the role of a certain protein - a so-called cyclin-kinase inhibitor - in the development of cancer. In the process, Malek noted that mice in which the breakdown of the kinase inhibitor was suppressed by genetic change have a significantly lower risk of suffering from intestinal cancer. "I needed a substance that would prevent the breakdown of the protein that I was investigating in the cancer cells," says Nisar Malek: "This molecule, in all likelihood, would make a good anti-cancer agent."

Nisar Malek approached Dr. Ronald Frank, a chemist at HZI, with his considerations. Ronald Frank has established extensive collections of chemical substances at the HZI that can be tested for their biological activity in a fast, automated procedure. The two agreed to develop a special cell line in which the quantity of the cyclin kinase inhibitor can be measured using simple optical methods. Ronald Frank: "We adapted this cell based assay system to allow automated screening of large numbers of different chemical substances."

Myxobacteria provide another potential cancer medicine

Malek and Frank found what they were looking for in a collection of natural substances which had originally been isolated from microorganisms which live in soil the so called Myxobacteria. Myxobacteria have proven to be a treasure trove of potential medicines, also being used in the production of epothilone, an active agent identified at the HZI. This drug has been approved as a cancer medicine in the USA last year. "The myxobacterial agent for our purposes is argyrin," says Ronald Frank.

With this knowledge, Ronald Frank and Nisar Malek joined up with the chemist Prof. Markus Kalesse of the LUH to launch an extensive research programme to discover how argyrin can be produced chemically and how it functions. In the process they stumbled upon a completely new mechanism, which was subsequently revealed in a publication in the non plus ultra of oncology journals, Cancer Cell. "Argyrin blocks the molecular machinery of the cell which breakdowns proteins that are no longer required," explains Malek, "and thereby naturally also prevents the breakdown of the kinase inhibitor in question, the lack of which triggers cancer."

The research team has already conducted detailed studies of the effects of argyrin on mice: "When we treat animals with cancer with argyrin," says Nisar Malek, "the tumour ceases growing, it decreases by up to 50 percent and it begins to breakdown internally." Scarcely any side effects have been noted. Although the findings published in Cancer Cell are viewed by the scientists as an important result, it is merely the first step of a longer journey: "Research into argyrin continues at a fast pace," says Markus Kalesse: "We are already altering the argyrin molecule in all details and looking to see if it is possible to improve its performance further. Our goal is to submit such an optimised structure for clinical testing in the near future."


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannes Schlender
presse@helmholtz-hzi.de
49-531-618-11400
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Natural chemical found in broccoli helps combat skin blistering disease
2. Natural insecticide re-created in the lab
3. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
4. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
5. Alternative methods proposed to detect pesticides and antibiotics in water and natural food
6. Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
7. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
8. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
9. MU researchers go nano, natural and green
10. Researchers discover natural herbicide released by grass
11. Baker Institute finds increased domestic production wont make US self-sufficient in natural gas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Argyrin: Natural substance raises hope for new cancer therapies
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... The report "Video Surveillance Market ... Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued ... to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a ... year considered for the study is 2016 and the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , Mar. 23, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... SC (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... mind, has teamed up with NASA to showcase the future of deep space ... Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft and includes a guest appearance by ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... EMEA and North America this May on the following dates: ... Donald H. Taylor, Chairman of the Learning and Performance Institute will be the ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Franz Inc ., an early innovator ... market leader for Semantic Graph Database technology, today announced Allegro ... effective system for developing and deploying applications to solve the challenges developers face ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Covalent Metrology has ... Services unit provides high-quality data to clients, both faster and cheaper than ... There are no price premiums, and customers are welcome to participate in the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: