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Newly Discovered Compound Blocks Known Cancer-Causing Protein

was a series of 30 structurally related molecules, and we selected the one with the highest potency ?that is cysmethynil."

Once the scientists had identified cysmethynil, they worked with Duke chemist Eric Toone and chemistry graduate student David Gooden to synthesize the molecule and verify its chemical structure. A search of the chemical literature turned up no previous description of the chemical, leading the scientists to believe they had discovered a new chemical compound with a unique biological function.

When the scientists tested the compound's ability to inhibit Ras function in living cells, they found it blocked the ability of colon cancer cells to grow independently in soft agar, a typical test of the cancerous
potential of cells.

"The next step is to test cysmethynil in animal models," said Casey. "We don't know how the compound will be metabolized in living animals, but we are encouraged by our initial results."

Other Duke scientists contributing to the research are Rudi A. Baron, Waihay Wong, June dela Cruz, and John D. York.


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Source:DukeMedNews


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