Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Structure Of Protein That Helps Feed Cancerous Tumors Is Deciphered At Cornell University, Possibly Leading To More Effective Drugs

Date:
November 13, 1998
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
For some years now, cancer researchers have known that cancerous tumors are fed by nutrients and oxygen through blood vessels generated by endothelial cells. Now the hope is to develop drugs to prevent the cells from forming the blood vessels, thus starving the tumors.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- For some years now, cancer researchers have known that cancerous tumors are fed by nutrients and oxygen through blood vessels generated by endothelial cells. Now the hope is to develop drugs to prevent the cells from forming the blood vessels, thus starving the tumors.

Related Articles


Researchers working at Cornell University have brought this goal closer by deciphering the three-dimensional structure of a protein that helps cells build new blood vessels. The researchers also have discovered how a drug now in clinical trials binds to the protein methionine aminopetidase-2, or MetAP-2, for short.

Writing today (Nov. 13, 1998) in the journal Science, a research team led by Jon Clardy, Cornell's Horace White Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Shenping Liu, Cornell visiting scientist, note that this new understanding of MetAP-2 might help chemists design more effective drugs.

"Our structure provides a better basis for designing drugs against cancer," says Liu. Because the protein, MetAP-2, was specifically shown to bind to the drug, he says, the research could pave the way for anti-cancer drugs with fewer side effects. The more specific the drug, the fewer the side effects, he says.

The researchers focused on the effects of fumagillin (pronounced foo-MAA-jill-in), a small organic molecule discovered from the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Earlier research had first discovered that fumagillin inhibits the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis, and that it inhibits MetAP-2.

A semi-synthetic drug, TNP-470, a fumagillin derivative, currently is undergoing human clinical testing as an anti-cancer agent. By uncovering the three-dimensional structure of the targeted protein, MetAP-2, the new results indicate precisely how the drug binds to the protein.

Because TNP-470 is broken down quickly in the body, researchers are trying to develop improved versions. The Cornell research, by showing precisely how the drug fits into the protein, is an important step for pharmaceutical designers to synthesize better drugs, Clardy says.

Interfering with the blood flow into the tumor prevents growth. However, Clardy warns, "We need to be cautious and not get our hopes too high." Several research groups are trying to figure out how MetAP-2 inhibits the formation of new blood vessels, he says, and the new drugs will take years of development and testing.

Clardy and his colleagues determined the three-dimensional structure of human MetAP-2 using X-ray crystallography at MacCHESS, the world-renowned Macromolecular Diffraction Facility at Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). The synchrotron produces high-intensity, high-energy X-ray beams for scientific research.

MacCHESS is supported by the National Institutes of Health for research in drug design, protein and virus crystallography and data collection from synchrotron sources. CHESS is supported by the National Science Foundation.

The research, "Structure of Human Methionine Aminopeptidase-2 Complexed with Fumagillin," appears in the Nov. 13 journal Science. It was authored by Clardy; Liu; Joanne Widom, Cornell chemistry researcher; Craig Crews, Yale University professor; and C.W. Kemp of Kemp Biotechnologies, Frederick, Md. Funding for the research was provided by U.S. Public Health Service grants.

-30-

EDITORS: A similar paper is being released today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Molecular recognition of angiogenesis inhibitors fumagillin and ovalicin by methionine aminopeptidase 2," by J. O. Liu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, et al. It is available at http://www.nas.edu/includes/liu.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Structure Of Protein That Helps Feed Cancerous Tumors Is Deciphered At Cornell University, Possibly Leading To More Effective Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981113081859.htm>.
Cornell University. (1998, November 13). Structure Of Protein That Helps Feed Cancerous Tumors Is Deciphered At Cornell University, Possibly Leading To More Effective Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981113081859.htm
Cornell University. "Structure Of Protein That Helps Feed Cancerous Tumors Is Deciphered At Cornell University, Possibly Leading To More Effective Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981113081859.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins