Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties

Date:
March 1, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
In an interesting bit of scientific serendipity, researchers have found that a chemical compound useful for studying the origins of intestinal birth defects may also inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous tumors.

In an interesting bit of scientific serendipity, researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a chemical compound useful for studying the origins of intestinal birth defects may also inhibit the growth and spread of cancerous tumors.

During the screening of chemical compounds created by NC State chemist Dr. Alex Deiters, developmental biologist Dr. Nanette Nascone-Yoder found one of particular interest to her research: a compound that induced heterotaxia, a disordering or mirror-image "flipping" of internal organs, in the frog embryos she was studying. Nascone-Yoder is particularly interested in the genetic processes involved in proper formation of the gut tube, which later becomes the intestinal tract.

"For the intestinal tract to form properly, it has to develop asymmetrically. This compound disrupts asymmetry, so it could be quite useful in helping us to determine when and where intestinal development goes wrong in embryos," Nascone-Yoder says.

But the compound, dubbed "heterotaxin" by the researchers, had effects beyond just inducing heterotaxia.

"We also noticed that the compound prevents normal blood-vessel formation and prevents cells from migrating by increasing cellular adhesion -- basically, the cells are stuck together and can't move."

Nascone-Yoder and her collaborators searched for known genetic pathways that could regulate all of these different events, and found that the pathway most likely to be affected by heterotaxin was the TGF-beta pathway. TGF-beta is known to play a role in the progression of cancerous tumors from normal to metastatic.

"This was exciting, because tumors have to have cells that can migrate and form a blood supply in order for the cancer to spread," Nascone-Yoder adds. "Heterotaxin inhibits those processes, which may make it a good 'lead' candidate for the development of an anti-tumor drug."

Indeed, collaborative experiments with NC State veterinary oncologist Marlene Hauck and cell biologist Philip Sannes showed that heterotaxin quenches the growth of canine tumor cells, and inhibits some of the changes required for human tumor cells to become migratory and invasive -- at least in a petri dish. There is still work to do, but heterotaxin and future synthetic analogs could be the harbingers of a new class of cancer-fighting compounds.

The research is published in the Feb. 24 issue of Chemistry & Biology.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Nascone-Yoder teaches in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael K. Dush, Andrew L. McIver, Meredith A. Parr, Douglas D. Young, Julie Fisher, Donna R. Newman, Philip L. Sannes, Marlene L. Hauck, Alexander Deiters, Nanette Nascone-Yoder. Heterotaxin: A TGF-β Signaling Inhibitor Identified in a Multi-Phenotype Profiling Screen in Xenopus Embryos. Chemistry & Biology, 2011; 18 (2): 252 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.12.008

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228121454.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, March 1). Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228121454.htm
North Carolina State University. "Compound useful for studying birth defects may also have anti-tumor properties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110228121454.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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