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Mushroom compound appears to improve effectiveness of cancer drugs
Date:10/11/2011

nce BN1P3 through a process called DNA methylation; verticillin A appears to modify the same process to turn the gene on.

All cells use DNA methylation but cancer cells use it differently, said Dr. Keith Robertson, cancer epigeneticist and Georgia Cancer Coalition Scholar. "Verticillin A may be working by altering methylation in a way that makes the cancer cells sensitive to TRAIL," Robertson said.

Their studies were of metastatic human colon cancer cells, which are highly resistant to treatment, including TRAIL, both in culture as well as transplanted into mice. They did similar studies on sarcoma, lung adenocarcinoma and breast cancer.

Additional toxicity studies are needed before moving forward with clinical trials, Bollag said. The researchers also want to pursue the compound's potential in melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

Verticillin A was isolated from mushrooms in Dr. Ping Wu's laboratory at the Research Centre of Siyuan Natural Pharmacy and Biotoxicology at China's Zhejiang University and brought to GHSU by former postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Feiyan Liu, the study's first author, who studied with Kebin Liu in Augusta for two years. The Chinese university is involved in extensive studies to isolate active compounds from plants to explore their therapeutic potential and both Dr. Lius liked verticillin A's aggressive response against cancer.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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