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Structures of marine toxins provide insight into their effectiveness as cancer drugs

ning that the drugs can be engineered to be as effective as possible.

"In order to chemically synthesize a better drug, it is a good idea to know how the natural compound works," he says. "Scientists who study natural products take their cues from what nature has already done. We're adding deep biochemical meaning to this area."

He adds that synthetic chemists hope that actin-based drugs might one day rival the success of Taxol, a powerful drug derived from a natural product that keeps breast-cancer cells from dividing.

"Actin-based drugs have not yet been used as successful drugs as have those that target microtubules, like Taxol, in part because we haven't understood how to target actin," Rayment explains.


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Source:University of Wisconsin-Madison


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