Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic Used To Treat Fungal Infections Also Kills Cancer Cells, Research Suggests

Date:
July 9, 2007
Source:
Helmholtz Association
Summary:
Due to defects in chromosomal distribution, a majority of tumor cells would not be able to survive were it not for a trick that cancer cells have developed to avoid this chaos in the genetic material. Scientists have discovered that the antibiotic griseofulvin counteracts this tactic of tumors and, thus, forces cancer cells into cell death.

Due to defects in chromosomal distribution, a majority of tumor cells would not be able to survive were it not for a trick that cancer cells have developed to avoid this chaos in the genetic material. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have discovered that the antibiotic griseofulvin counteracts this tactic of tumors and, thus, forces cancer cells into cell death.

Related Articles


The two centrosomes are responsible for proper cell division: It is here that the mitotic spindle made of protein fibers latches onto in order to correctly divide the freshly duplicated set of chromosomes among the two newly forming daughter cells. However, cancer cells often have more than two centrosomes. As a result, their mitotic spindle does not have the normal spindle structure with two poles; dysfunctional multipolar structures are formed instead. These malformed spindles distribute chromosomes completely at random so that daughter cells are usually not viable.

In tumors, therefore, those cells have a better chance of survival that manage to divide chromosomes correctly despite too many centrosomes. To this end, some cancer cells have developed a mechanism by which several centrosomes are clustered into aggregates so that eventually a functioning bipolar spindle is formed between two such aggregates.

Professor Dr. Alwin Krämer, head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Hematology/Oncology of the German Cancer Research Center and the Medical Clinic V of the University of Heidelberg recognized that this trick of tumors is in fact a previously unnoticed Achilles’ heel and may be used to put cancer cells out of action. Collaborating with colleagues in Denmark, Krämer’s team searched for substances that inhibit centrosome clustering. In their search, they focused on biomolecules produced by fungi, which include many substances that are known to interfere with biological reactions.

The substance that turned out to be the best inhibitor of centrosome clustering is a long-known antibiotic called griseofulvin which is used primarily to treat fungal infections of the skin. In experiments in the culture dish griseofulvin causes cancer cells to build malformed, multipolar spindles, which eventually leads to cell death by apoptosis. In healthy cells, however, the antibiotic does not cause spindle malformations.

“Even though griseofulvin is not yet the ideal molecule for use in cancer treatment,” says Krämer, “we were able to show clearly that this approach may contribute to fighting cancer. Together with our cooperation partners we are producing chemical relatives of griseofulvin, which may have even more advantageous pharmacological properties.” Krämer, a doctor and medical researcher, also sees a chance that the novel working principle may support the effectiveness of other treatment options.

Reference: Blanka Rebacz, Thomas O. Larsen, Mads H. Clausen, Mads H. Rønnest, Harald Löffler, Anthony D. Ho and Alwin Krämer: Identification of Griseofulvin as an Inhibitor of Centrosomal Clustering in a Phenotype-Based Screen. Cancer Research, July 1, 2007


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association. "Antibiotic Used To Treat Fungal Infections Also Kills Cancer Cells, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070706132500.htm>.
Helmholtz Association. (2007, July 9). Antibiotic Used To Treat Fungal Infections Also Kills Cancer Cells, Research Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070706132500.htm
Helmholtz Association. "Antibiotic Used To Treat Fungal Infections Also Kills Cancer Cells, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070706132500.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) — The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
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