Researchers Discover Potential New Rare Cancer Drug in Soil Bacterium

 

According to a recent article in Genetic Engineering and Biology News, Washington University and University of Hawaii researchers have uncovered a possible drug development candidate in soil bacterium called Lentzea flaviverrucosa.

The scientists discovered this bacteria while they were searching for rare actinomycetes that have a genetic characteristic indicating that they can make piperazinyl molecules. The molecules have a unique building block that identifies them as being capable of achieving a drug-like effect.

Actinomycetes microbes, one of the most successful therapeutic sources, are being reexamined by researchers. They have not been fully utilized. Actinomycetes are moldlike bacterium that have elongated filamentous cells with branching tendency.

The research team found that rare actinomycetes can produce molecules that are effective against various types of ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, and a type of soft tissue sarcoma (fibrosarcoma).

Assistant professor Joshua Blodgett, a coauthor of the study, said that the scientists used an analysis of metabolites (metabolomics) together with biology techniques to show that rare actinomycete produces two separate bioactive molecules from one set of genes known as a supercluster.

Professor Blodgett commented that nature has welded two different molecules together. He was referring to cancer treatment when he said that when you put A and B together it becomes even more potent.

The professor said that their genomic approach has allowed the team to recognize a unique peptide that will be used for drug design efforts in the future.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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