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Overcoming resistance to anti-cancer drugs by targeting cell 'powerhouses'

Date:
May 22, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Re-routing anti-cancer drugs to the "power plants" that make energy to keep cells alive is a promising but long-neglected approach to preventing emergence of the drug-resistant forms of cancer -- source of a serious medical problem, scientists are reporting.

Re-routing anti-cancer drugs to the "power plants" that make energy to keep cells alive is a promising but long-neglected approach to preventing emergence of the drug-resistant forms of cancer -- source of a serious medical problem, scientists are reporting. That's the conclusion of a new study published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.

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Shana Kelley and colleagues explain that doxorubicin and other common forms of chemotherapy work by damaging the genes inside the nucleus of cancer cells. Cancer cells divide and multiply faster than surrounding normal cells, making copies of their genes. The drugs disrupt that process. But cancer cells eventually adapt, developing structures that pump out nucleus-attacking drugs before they can work. Kelley's team explored the effects of targeting doxorubicin to the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures in cells that also contain genes.

They describe a re-targeting approach that involved mating doxorubicin with a small piece of protein that made the drug travel to mitochondria instead of the nucleus. The combo killed cancer cells, even those that had developed pumps. Such an approach could work with a whole family of anti-cancer drugs that target the nucleus, the scientists indicate.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Graham R. Chamberlain, David V. Tulumello, Shana O. Kelley. Targeted Delivery of Doxorubicin to Mitochondria. ACS Chemical Biology, 2013; 130423103952004 DOI: 10.1021/cb400095v

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Overcoming resistance to anti-cancer drugs by targeting cell 'powerhouses'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142022.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, May 22). Overcoming resistance to anti-cancer drugs by targeting cell 'powerhouses'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142022.htm
American Chemical Society. "Overcoming resistance to anti-cancer drugs by targeting cell 'powerhouses'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142022.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

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