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 29, 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 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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