Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ohio State Chemists Synthesize Possible New Anti-Tumor Agent

Date:
May 4, 2001
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Using a frothy brew of soil bacteria as a guide, chemists at Ohio State University have synthesized a substance that may lead to a new generation of chemotherapy drugs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Using a frothy brew of soil bacteria as a guide, chemists at Ohio State University have synthesized a substance that may lead to a new generation of chemotherapy drugs.

Laboratories around the world have struggled to create a synthetic version of the chemical, called azinomycin A, ever since it was discovered in bacteria in 1986. The natural form of the chemical breaks down too quickly for scientists to test whether it could be used to combat cancer cells in the body.

Now that Ohio State researchers have completed their quest to build an exact copy of azinomycin A atom by atom, they can try to redesign the chemical into a stable, medically usable form, said Rob Coleman, professor of chemistry at Ohio State and principal investigator of the project.

This research, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, appears in the current issue of the German chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. The journal issue, dated May 5, 2001, is set to appear on the World Wide Web at on May 2, 2001, at http://www.angewandte.com.

"More important than synthesizing the agent is what we've learned along the way," Coleman said. "We need to understand the chemical mechanisms behind azinomycin A so that we can develop more effective anti-tumor agents in the future."

Coleman said an enhanced version of azinomycin A might make an especially potent chemotherapy agent. He pointed to laboratory tests from 1987, when Japanese scientists found that the short-lived natural version of the chemical attacked tumor cells in a test tube and was effective as combating cancer in animal models.

Scientists now believe azinomycin A and its sibling azinomycin B -- both produced by a type of Streptomyces soil bacteria - attack DNA by forming very strong bonds, and are two of only a handful of chemicals that bond to DNA in this way.

In 1989, Coleman first began to design the chemical steps needed to synthesize azinomycin A and B in the laboratory. He started the work at the University of South Carolina and, beginning in 1996, at Ohio State.

Over that time, several researchers contributed to the project. In particular, Coleman credits Andrew Carpenter and Thomas Richardson, both his former Ph.D. students, and Jian-She Kong, an Ohio State postdoctoral researcher in chemistry, with performing important preliminary studies. The Ohio State work in the Angewandte Chemie paper was done by Coleman's co-authors, Jing Li and Antonio Navarro, both postdoctoral researchers.

Coleman and his colleagues devised a strategy for breaking the complex-shaped azinomycin A molecule into five smaller pieces. Over 11 years, the researchers performed essentially all possible series of chemical reactions these constituents could undergo, starting over whenever they reached a chemical dead end.

The researchers charted each chemical reaction like a composer would write a score for a symphony orchestra, Coleman said: "We had to write every note for every instrument, think about how the different instruments would play off each other."

To obtain natural azinomycin A for comparison, they fermented a broth of Streptomyces bacteria, which Coleman says resembles a good Irish ale, and isolated both of the azinomycins.

In February 2001, the researchers obtained the synthetic form of azinomycin A that perfectly matched the original. "For all intents and purposes, they are absolutely indistinguishable," Coleman said.

Now the Ohio State researchers are investigating how azinomycin A and B form such strong bonds with DNA. They have also started tinkering with the synthetic formula.

"We think we're beginning to see why the natural form is unstable, and that gives us some idea of where to go next with building new anti-tumor agents," Coleman said.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Ohio State Chemists Synthesize Possible New Anti-Tumor Agent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010504083432.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2001, May 4). Ohio State Chemists Synthesize Possible New Anti-Tumor Agent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010504083432.htm
Ohio State University. "Ohio State Chemists Synthesize Possible New Anti-Tumor Agent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010504083432.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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