Fungi Helps Fight Cancer Cells
Chemists at MIT are testing compounds based on a chemical secreted by fungi. The compounds could potentially be used in formulating drugs to treat cancer.
Years ago, a team led by Mohammed Movassaghi, associate professor at MIT, synthesized a complex fungal compound. Previous studies of the compound called 11, 11'-dideoxyverticillin found that it exhibited cancer-fighting characteristics. Movassaghi asserts that a more comprehensive study has to be conducted to determine drug development possibilities.
"There's a lot of data out there, very exciting data, but one thing we were interested in doing is taking a large panel of these compounds, and for the first time, evaluating them in a uniform manner," said Movassaghi.
Scientists believe that compounds naturally produced by fungi known as pipolythiodiketopiperazine (ETP) alkaloids are emitted to help fungi fight organisms that try to invade their territory.
The researchers synthesized natural ETP in the lab and produced similar compounds that they believed the have anti-cancer characteristics. More compounds were created for the new study, forming a variety by either adding or removing chemical groups.
The study was published in Chemical Science online, explaining how 60 compounds were designed and tested for their ability to destroy cancer cells.
"What was particularly exciting to us was to see, across various cancer cell lines, that some of them are quite potent," said Movassaghi.
The 60 compounds were tested on two human cancers, cervical cancer and lymphoma. Lung, kidney and breast cancers were later tested using 25 of the best compounds. It was found that dimeric compounds, formed by combining two identical molecules, were more effective at killing cancer cells compared to momomers, which are single-molecule compounds. The compounds were selective and destroyed cancer cells 1,000 times greater than they did healthy blood cells.
The research team included Movassaghi and his colleagues at MIT and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Nicolas Boyer, an MIT postdoc, is the lead author of the paper.
Many antibiotics, including penicillin, were derived from chemicals extracted from or based on chemicals from fungi. Alexander Fleming made the discovery in 1929 that the fungal contaminant described as "Penicillium notatum" was effective against many forms of bacteria.
MIT Working On Flying And Driving Drones
MIT researches are working on a drone that can switch from driving mode to flying mode in a jiffy.
Fasting Diet Miracle: 5-Day Calorie Restriction Lowers Risk For Major Diseases
Researchers are calling a healthy fasting diet a miracle due to its amazing capability of lowering major chronic diseases including cancer and diabetes. A specifically designed diet that mimics fasting could be the answer to all our health problems.
General Vaccine For Cancer Not Likely
The search for a general cure for cancer is still being done. A general vaccine for cancer is not yet likely.
What's This Mysterious 'Alien Soil' That's Growing Deep Underground?
In terms of discovering new organisms, it is just but undeniable that there has been a lot of breakthroughs being recorded. However, what's the truth behind claims that an alleged 'alien soil' is constantly growing under the Earth's deep ground? Could this where aliens might be hiding after all? Find out what scientists have to say.
The Power Of Cannabis Sheds Light In The Fight Against Brain Cancer
Considering that a lot of US’ states have been considering the legalization of cannabis and others have already been legalizing it, what’s the truth behind new claims that it can potentially be used as the secret weapon against brain cancer? Could it be the cure that can pave the way for other treatments involving cannabis? Find out what experts have to say about it
MORE IN ITECHPOST
Motorola Officially Announces Android 8.0 Oreo Update for Supported Devices [Full List]
Here is the full list of supported devices for receiving Android 8.0 Oreo update from Motorola.
'Tokyo Ghoul' Season 3 Delayed By Its Live-Action Movie? Ken Kenaki Returns With Another Identity?
"Tokyo Ghoul" season 3's release is delayed and there are countless speculations as to why it is being pushed back. Reports claim that the show is to give way to "One Punch Man" and "My Hero Acdemia" but new rumors say that it's lack of materials and storyline as well as its live-action movie are causing the delay.
GTA 5 Online DLC: Why New 'Vigilante' Supercar is a Must Buy
Here is why you should buy the upcoming DLC supercar ‘Vigilante’ in GTA Online.