Navigation Links
New drug agent knocks out multiple enzymes in cancer pathway

A team of 24 researchers from the U.S., Europe, Taiwan and Japan and led by University of Illinois scientists has engineered a new anti-cancer agent that is about 200 times more active in killing tumor cells than similar drugs used in recent clinical trials.

The study appears this week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The new agent belongs to a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. These compounds were originally developed to treat osteoporosis and other bone diseases, but were recently found to also have potent anti-cancer and immune boosting properties.

Drug developers have tried for years to design drugs to inhibit cell survival pathways in tumor cells, focusing on a protein called Ras since nearly a third of all human cancers involve a mutation in the Ras gene that causes cell signaling to go awry. These efforts have met with limited success.

Bisphosphonates act on other enzymes, called FPPS and GGPPS, which are upstream of Ras in the cell survival pathway. Inhibiting these enzymes appears to be a more effective strategy for killing cancer cells.

When used in combination with hormone therapy in a recent clinical trial, the bisphosphonate drug zoledronate significantly reduced the recurrence of breast cancer in premenopausal women with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer. Similar results were reported previously for hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

But zoledronate quickly binds to bone, reducing its efficacy in other tissues.

"We're trying to develop bisphosphonates that will be very active but won't bind to the bone, because if they bind to the bone they're not going to go to breast, lung or other tissues," said University of Illinois chemistry professor Eric Oldfield, who led the new study.

Oldfield's team also wanted to design a compound that would inhibit multiple enzymes in the tumor cell survival pathway, rather than just one, an approach analogous to the use of multi-kinase inhibitors in cancer therapy.

Andrew Wang, of Academia Sinica, Taipei, and Illinois chemist Rong Cao began by producing crystallographic structures of the target enzymes and drug candidates, allowing the researchers to identify those features that would enhance the drugs' ability to bind to the enzymes. Using this and other chemical data, Illinois chemistry department research scientist Yonghui Zhang engineered new bisphosphonate compounds that bound tightly to multiple enzyme targets, but not to bone.

One of the new compounds, called BPH-715, proved to be especially potent in cell culture and effectively inhibited tumor cell growth and invasiveness.

Tadahiko Kubo, of Hiroshima University, then found that BPH-715 also killed tumor cells in mice. And Socrates Papapoulos, of Leiden University, the Netherlands, showed that the compound had a very low chemical affinity for bone.

In humans, compounds like BPH-715 and zoledronate have an added benefit in fighting cancer: They spur the proliferation of immune cells called gamma delta T-cells, which aid in killing tumor cells.

"The new drugs are about 200 times more effective than the drugs used in recent clinical trials at killing tumor cells and in activating gamma delta T-cells to kill tumor cells," Oldfield said. "They also prevent tumor progression in mice much better than do existing bisphosphonate molecules."


Contact: Diana Yates
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related biology news :

1. Structure of enzyme against chemical warfare agents determined
2. Chemopreventive agents in black raspberries identified
3. MIT nanotubes sniff out cancer agents in living cells
4. Exposure to Agent Orange linked to prostate cancer in Vietnam veterans
5. Certain anticancer agents could be harmful to patients with heart disease
6. UF researchers develop improved gene therapy agent
7. New insights into the diversity of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agents
8. Drug aimed at 2 bioterror agents blocks live viral infection, Weill Cornell team reports
9. Contrast agent trials in swine
10. Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
11. Primate behavior explained by computer agents
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New drug agent knocks out multiple enzymes in cancer pathway
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology ... LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products ... ... ... 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Global demand for enzymes is forecast ... to $7.2 billion.  This market includes enzymes used ... biofuel production, animal feed, and other markets) and ... Food and beverages will remain the largest market ... of products containing enzymes in developing regions.  These ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at ... most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the ... read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid ...
Breaking Biology Technology: