Navigation Links
Scientists synthesize long-sought-after anticancer agent
Date:1/31/2011

New Haven, Conn.A team of Yale University scientists has synthesized for the first time a chemical compound called lomaiviticin aglycon, leading to the development of a new class of molecules that appear to target and destroy cancer stem cells.

Chemists worldwide have been interested in lomaiviticin's potential anticancer properties since its discovery in 2001. But so far, they have been unable to obtain significant quantities of the compound, which is produced by a rare marine bacterium that cannot be easily coaxed into creating the molecule. For the past decade, different groups around the world have been trying instead to synthesize the natural compound in the lab, but without success.

Now a team at Yale, led by chemist Seth Herzon, has managed to create lomaiviticin aglycon for the first time, opening up new avenues of exploration into novel chemotherapies that could target cancer stem cells, thought to be the precursors to tumors in a number of different cancers including ovarian, brain, lung, prostate and leukemia. Their discovery appears online today in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"About three quarters of anticancer agents are derived from natural products, so there's been lots of work in this area," Herzon said. "But this compound is structurally very different from other natural products, which made it extremely difficult to synthesize in the lab."

In addition to lomaiviticin aglycon, Herzon's team also created smaller, similar molecules that have proven extremely effective in killing ovarian stem cells, said Gil Mor, M.D., a researcher at the Yale School of Medicine who is collaborating with Herzon to test the new class of molecules' potential as a cancer therapeutic.

The scientists are particularly excited about lomaiviticin aglycon's potential to kill ovarian cancer stem cells because the disease is notoriously resistant to Taxol and Carboplatin, two of the most common chemotherapy drugs. "Ovarian cancer has a high rate of recurrence, and after using chemotherapy to fight the tumor the first time, you're left with resistant tumor cells that tend to keep coming back," Mor explained. "If you can kill the stem cells before they have the chance to form a tumor, the patient will have a much better chance of survival and there aren't many potential therapies out there that target cancer stem cells right now."

Herzon's team, which managed to synthesize the molecule in just 11 steps starting from basic chemical building blocks, has been working on the problem since 2008 and spent more than a year on just one step of the process involving the creation of a carbon-carbon bond. It was an achievement that many researchers deemed impossible, but while others tried to work around having to create that bond by using other techniques, the team's persistence paid off.

"A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into creating that bond," Herzon said. "After that, the rest of the process was relatively easy."

Next, the team will continue to analyze the compound to better understand what's happening to the stem cells at the molecular level. The team hopes to begin testing the compounds in animals shortly.

"This is a great example of the synergy between basic chemistry and the applied sciences," Herzon said. "Our original goal of synthesizing this natural product has led us into entirely new directions that could have broad impacts in human medicine."


'/>"/>

Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists climb Mt. Everest to explain how hearts adapt and recover from low oxygen
2. Scripps Research scientists convert skin cells to beating heart cells
3. Scripps Research scientists reveal key mechanism governing nicotine addiction
4. Scientists determine what makes an orangutan an orangutan
5. Scientists link protein to the insulation of the nervous systems wiring
6. Scientists grow human liver tissue to be used for transplantation
7. Scientists reveal complete structure of HIVs outer shell
8. Scientists: Big city life may alter green attitudes
9. Scientists find the master switch for key immune cells in inflammatory diseases
10. MU scientists find new farming method to reduce greenhouse gases, increase farm yields
11. 7 CAMH scientists win Young Investigator awards focused on breakthrough research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... SuperCom (NASDAQ:   SPCB ... e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors announced today that Leaders ... to implement and deploy a community-based supportive services program to reduce ... , further expanding its presence in the state. ... This new program, which is expected ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 16, 2016 Research ... Access System Market - Global Forecast to 2021" report to ... ... projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.06% from 2016 to ... 2016, and is projected to reach 854.8 Million by 2021. The ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016 Advancements in biometrics will ... and wellbeing (HWW), and security of vehicles ... passenger vehicles begin to feature fingerprint recognition, ... beat monitoring, brain wave monitoring, stress detection, ... pulse detection. These will be driven by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan 19, 2017 Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... - Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The report provides a detailed analysis on current and future market ... 2025, using estimated market values as the base numbers ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; NASDAQ: AQB), ... and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... listing of its common shares on the NASDAQ Stock ... "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an important milestone ... the U.S. markets as we advance plans for commercial ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... NEW YORK , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... expected to reach USD 92.9 billion by 2025, ... Research, Inc. Pharmaceutical industry has been adaptive of ... functions as early as 2002. Among the services ... the forerunners. For instance, Johnson & Johnson was ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , January 18, 2017 According to a new market ... Neuroscience, Cytology, Infectious Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research ... to reach USD 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: