JUN 13, 2019 8:23 AM PDT

This Molecule Compound Reduces Chemo Resistance

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Drug resistance is a major hindrance to cancer treatment. Researchers from Duke University, MIT and the University of Rhode Island have zeroed in on a molecule compound that works as a kind of glue, binding and incapacitating a protein that helps cancer cells adapt to and resist chemo treatments. Pei Zhou, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at Duke and senior co-author of the new study on reducing chemo-resistance, is excited about he and his colleagues’ discoveries.

"Chemotherapies are often effective the first time around, but then the cancers mutate and become resistant to that drug and the next, and the next. It reminds me of Boggarts, those shapeshifting creatures from ‘Harry Potter’ that morph from one scary thing to another. The beauty of this approach is that you essentially freeze the Boggart in its current form, so you can kill it off for good,” Zhou said.

Previous studies identified a protein named Rev1 as a key player in cancer cell’s ability to change and resist chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, which are designed to keep the cancer cells from replicating. Rev1 has already been successfully disrupted through genetic means at the labs of two other senior co-authors, Graham C. Walker and Michael T. Hemann at MIT. But the new team wanted to find a molecule compound that could block or inhibit Rev1. So, they tested 10,000 small molecule compounds and discovered JH-RE-06.

When Rev1 interacts with JH-RE-06, it joins with or “dimerizes” with another copy of itself. When Rev1 is bound and locked in this way, it can’t help cancer cells shift forms and resist treatment.

molecule illustrations, credit: public domain

In human cancer cell lines, the new molecule was found to enhance the effectiveness of multiple kinds of chemotherapy and to suppress cancer’s mutant abilities. In a mouse model of human melanoma treated with cisplatin and JH-RE-06, the tumors stopped growing, and the mice survived longer.

"This is a great proof of principle that it is possible to target this protein, but we have a lot of work to do to turn this lead compound into a viable candidate that we can take to the clinic,” senior study co-author Jiyong Hong, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at Duke, said.

 

Sources: Science Daily, Cell

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
You May Also Like
SEP 14, 2020
Cancer
MiR-107 and Its Role in Radiosensitivity in Prostate Cancer
SEP 14, 2020
MiR-107 and Its Role in Radiosensitivity in Prostate Cancer
It is often unknown whether a patient will respond to a treatment until it is in full swing. New research is attempting ...
SEP 17, 2020
Cardiology
Can Grape Polyphenol Extracts prevent Cardiotoxicity?
SEP 17, 2020
Can Grape Polyphenol Extracts prevent Cardiotoxicity?
One of the biggest issues with chemotherapy treatments is their inherent toxicities. Most chemotherapy drugs are toxic t ...
OCT 12, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Researchers Solve Key Problem for Cancer Immunotherapy
OCT 12, 2020
Researchers Solve Key Problem for Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapies are becoming increasingly promising as a standard-of-care treatment. However, despite their promi ...
OCT 30, 2020
Cancer
Fighting mesothelioma with curcumin
OCT 30, 2020
Fighting mesothelioma with curcumin
Research led by investigators at Flinders University in Australia is spearheading new developments in cancer prevention ...
NOV 09, 2020
Cancer
A Prognostic Expression Profile for Osteosarcoma
NOV 09, 2020
A Prognostic Expression Profile for Osteosarcoma
Tireless research goes into every cancer diagnostic tools and new therapy. Many types of cancer have made giant steps fo ...
NOV 12, 2020
Immunology
Anti-bodies against a sugar present in meat and dairy products can increase the risk of Colorectal Cancer
NOV 12, 2020
Anti-bodies against a sugar present in meat and dairy products can increase the risk of Colorectal Cancer
Nutrition is essential to health; what we eat in our daily diet affects our overall health condition and what diseases w ...
Loading Comments...