Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs

Date:
July 25, 2013
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new molecule that prevents cancer cells from responding and surviving when starved of oxygen and which could be developed into new treatments for the disease, according to new research.

Dr Ali Tavassoli. Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton

Scientists have discovered a new molecule that prevents cancer cells from responding and surviving when starved of oxygen and which could be developed into new treatments for the disease, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on July 26.

Cancer Research UK scientists at the University of Southampton found that this molecule targets the master switch -- HIF-1 -- that cancer cells use to adapt to low oxygen levels, a common feature in the disease.

The researchers uncovered a way to stop cancer cells using this switch through an approach called 'synthetic biology'. By testing 3.2 million potential compounds, made by specially engineered bacteria, they were able to find a molecule that stopped HIF-1 from working.

All cells need a blood supply to provide them with the oxygen and nutrients they require to survive. Cancer tumours grow rapidly and as the tumour gets bigger it outstrips the supply of oxygen and nutrients that the surrounding blood vessels can deliver.

But, to cope with this low-oxygen environment, HIF-1 acts as a master switch that turns on hundreds of genes, allowing cancer cells to survive. HIF-1 triggers the formation of new blood vessels around tumours, causing more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the starving tumour, which in turn allows it to keep growing.

Dr Ali Tavassoli, a Cancer Research UK scientist whose team discovered and developed the compound at the University of Southampton, said: "We've found a way to target the steps that cancer cells take to survive and we hope that our research will one day lead to effective drugs that can stop cancers adapting to a low oxygen environment, stopping their growth. The next step is to further develop this molecule to create an effective treatment."

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Finding ways to disrupt the tools that cancer cells use to adapt and grow when starved of oxygen has been a hot topic in cancer research, but finding drugs that do this effectively has proved elusive.

"For the first time our scientists have found a way to block a master switch controlling cells response to low levels of oxygen -- an important step towards creating drugs that could halt cancer in its tracks."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Elena Miranda, Ida K. Nordgren, Abigail L. Male, Charlotte E. Lawrence, Franciane Hoakwie, Francesco Cuda, William Court, Keith R. Fox, Paul A. Townsend, Graham K. Packham, Suzanne A. Eccles, Ali Tavassoli. A Cyclic Peptide Inhibitor of HIF-1 Heterodimerization That Inhibits Hypoxia Signaling in Cancer Cells. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013; 135 (28): 10418 DOI: 10.1021/ja402993u

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725202336.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2013, July 25). Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725202336.htm
University of Southampton. "Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725202336.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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