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Broccoli compound targets key enzyme in late-stage cancer
Date:12/3/2008

ivity in cell culture by at least a factor of 100. The lab teams currently are probing the elastase structure and how I3C interacts with it to identify the best parts of the I3C molecule to modify.

I3C is only one of many plant-derived chemicals, called phytochemicals, that Firestone is investigating in his laboratory as potential anti-cancer agents. Among them is the anti-malarial drug artemisinin. Last month, the Journal of Biological Chemistry accepted a paper by Firestone and his colleagues showing that artemisinin blocks prostate cancer cell growth by interfering with the same intracellular pathway as does I3C. This pathway involves the transcription factor SP1, which latches onto other genes to boost their activity.

"SP1 could be a generalized target of phytochemicals," Firestone said. "Phytochemicals work because they interact with and inhibit enzymes that control a host of cellular processes, including migration and adhesion."


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Contact: Robert Sanders
rsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert

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