Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Frog Molecule Could Provide Drug Treatment For Brain Tumors

Date:
June 26, 2007
Source:
University of Bath
Summary:
A synthetic version of a molecule found in the egg cells of the Northern Leopard frog (Rana pipiens) could provide the world with the first drug treatment for brain tumors. Although it could potentially be used as a treatment for many forms of cancer, Amphinase offers greatest hope in the treatment of brain tumours, for which complex surgery and chemotherapy are the only current treatments.

Northern leopard frog.
Credit: David Cappaert, Michigan State University (Bugwood.org)

A synthetic version of a molecule found in the egg cells of the Northern Leopard frog (Rana pipiens) could provide the world with the first drug treatment for brain tumours.

Related Articles


Known as Amphinase, the molecule recognises the sugary coating found on a tumour cell and binds to its surface before invading the cell and inactivating the RNA it contains, causing the tumour to die.

In new research published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, scientists from the University of Bath (UK) and Alfacell Corporation (USA) describe the first complete analysis of the structural and chemical properties of the molecule.

Although it could potentially be used as a treatment for many forms of cancer, Amphinase offers greatest hope in the treatment of brain tumours, for which complex surgery and chemotherapy are the only current treatments.

“This is a very exciting molecule,” said Professor Ravi Acharya, from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath.

“It is rather like Mother Nature’s very own magic bullet for recognising and destroying cancer cells.

“It is highly specific at hunting and destroying tumour cells, is easily synthesised in the laboratory and offers great hope as a therapeutic treatment of the future.”

Amphinase is a version of a ribonuclease enzyme that has been isolated from the oocytes (egg cells) of the Northern Leopard frog.

Ribonucleases are a common type of enzyme found in all organisms. They are responsible for tidying up free-floating strands of RNA cells by latching on to the molecule and cutting it into smaller sections.

In areas of the cell where the RNA is needed for essential functions, ribonucleases are prevented from working by inhibitor molecules. But because Amphinase is an amphibian ribonuclease, it can evade the mammalian inhibitor molecules to attack the cancer cells.

As a treatment, it is most likely to be injected into the area where it is needed. It will have no effect on other cells because it is only capable of recognising and binding to the sugar coating of tumour cells.

“Amphinase is in the very early stages of development, so it is likely to be several years and many trials before it could be developed into a treatment for patients,” said Professor Acharya and his colleagues Drs Umesh Singh and Daniel Holloway.

“Having said that, the early data is promising and through this study we have provided the kind of information needed if approval for use is requested in the future.”

Amphinase is the second anti-tumour ribonuclease to be isolated by Alfacell Corporation from Rana pipiens oocytes.

The other, ONCONASE(R) (ranpirnase), is currently in late-stage clinical trials as a treatment for unresectable malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of lung cancer, and in Phase I/II clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumours.

“We are pleased with the superb work performed by Professor Acharya and his talented team at the University of Bath,” commented Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“Their work is critical to the continued development and understanding of our family of novel ribonuclease based therapeutics with the potential to help patients suffering from cancer and other dismal diseases.”

The company is now working on pre-clinical trials of Amphinase with a view to beginning clinical trials in the future.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Bath. "Frog Molecule Could Provide Drug Treatment For Brain Tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626093540.htm>.
University of Bath. (2007, June 26). Frog Molecule Could Provide Drug Treatment For Brain Tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626093540.htm
University of Bath. "Frog Molecule Could Provide Drug Treatment For Brain Tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626093540.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
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