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.

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 April 17, 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 April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. 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