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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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