Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could Metals Help Treat Cancer?

Date:
July 30, 2008
Source:
CNRS
Summary:
A collaboration between chemists and biologists has made it possible to identify the effects of a new class of molecules, polyoxometalates, primarily composed of metals and oxygen. These molecules are very powerful inhibitors of a specific protein kinase, CK2, an enzyme that is overactive in a number of cancers. The enzyme's instrumental role in controlling cell proliferation and survival makes it an important target in the search for new medications.

Structure of the protein kinase CK2 (left) and the structures of different polyoxometalate (POM) molecules (right).
Credit: Copyright B. Hasenknopf

A collaboration between chemists and biologists has made it possible to identify the effects of a new class of molecules, polyoxometalates (1), primarily composed of metals and oxygen. These molecules are very powerful inhibitors of a specific protein kinase, CK2, an enzyme that is overactive in a number of cancers. The enzyme's instrumental role in controlling cell proliferation and survival makes it an important target in the search for new medications.

Related Articles


These results have just been published in the journal Chemistry and Biology by chemists from the Institut de chimie moléculaire (CNRS / UPMC) and biologists from the Institut de recherche en technologies et sciences pour le vivant (iRTSV, CEA de Grenoble / CNRS / Inserm.)

Phosphorylation enzymes (2) , which include the protein kinase CK2, play a critical role in controlling cell proliferation. Deregulated protein kinase activity is implicated in a number of cancers, which has led to a recent surge in research on molecules that can inhibit the activity of these enzymes. The currently known CK2 inhibitors are all organic compounds that neutralize enzymatic activity by binding to its active site (3).

The contribution of the study carried out by the researchers at the Institut de chimie moléculaire and the Institut de recherche en technologies et sciences pour le vivant was to reveal a new class of CK2 inhibitors. The new inhibitors are inorganic molecules, polyoxometalates (POMs), primarily made up of metals (molybdenum and tungsten) and oxygen. They are the most powerful CK2 inhibitors yet discovered, working at very low (nanomolar) concentrations. In addition, the researchers showed that the mode of action of POMs, although not yet fully understood, is completely new. Unlike organic inhibitors, POMs do not bind to the active site of the enzyme.

This work opens up several areas for further research: clarifying the mechanism of action of these new molecules, finding the minimum molecular entity that can inhibit enzyme activity, and finally, given its importance in the health field, improving knowledge of how the enzyme CK2 works. In the longer term, these results could pave the way for new approaches to developing anti-cancer drugs.

Notes:

(1) Polyoxometalates are anionic inorganic metal oxide structures that have valuable catalytic properties.

(2) Phosphorylation enzymes called protein kinases can attach a phosphate group to proteins that may be inactive enzymes. The addition of the phosphate group can activate these “silent” enzymes. Protein kinases thus play a central role in controlling the activity of numerous enzymes in the cell.

(3) The active site of an enzyme is a particular region where the substrates bind together and enzymatic reactions takes place.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Prudent et al. Identification of Polyoxometalates as Nanomolar Noncompetitive Inhibitors of Protein Kinase CK2. Chemistry & Biology, 2008; 15 (7): 683 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2008.05.018

Cite This Page:

CNRS. "Could Metals Help Treat Cancer?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727225418.htm>.
CNRS. (2008, July 30). Could Metals Help Treat Cancer?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727225418.htm
CNRS. "Could Metals Help Treat Cancer?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080727225418.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Army Completes Ebola Treatment Unit

US Army Completes Ebola Treatment Unit

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 22, 2014) — The US Army of engineers completes Ebola treatment center in Liberia. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
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

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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