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Marine sponges may harbour cancer cure.



Byline: ANI

Washington, Nov 3 (ANI): A natural component found in marine sponges has shown promise in treating cancer, say researchers.

Lead researcher Daniel Romo, a Texas A and M chemistry professor has identified a mechanism related to Pateamine A (PatA) that might make it a potential anti-cancer agent.

The PatA has been found to inhibit a key pathway in the cell that degrades damaged and not fully functional mRNA. It is called NMD NMD Neuromuscular disease, see there  or nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

Messenger RNA mes·sen·ger RNA
n.
See mRNA.
 (mRNA) copies messages from genes on DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
DNA
 or deoxyribonucleic acid

One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes.
 and uses these messages to produce proteins, and the human body functions well only with the right types and amount of proteins.

NMD watches inside the body 24 hours a day, and whenever damaged mRNA is found, it attaches a "bad-mRNA" tag on tag on
Verb

to add at the end of something: a throwaway remark, tagged on at the end of a casual conversation

Verb 1.
 it and signals to destroy it.

"We found that PatA and a simplified, easier to synthesize derivative of PatA called desmethyl,desamino-PatA (DMDAPatA) inhibit NMD," said Romo.

"This may contribute to the apoptosis (suicide) of tumor cells," he added.

PatA inhibits the initiation phase of protein synthesis Protein synthesis is the creation of proteins using DNA and RNA. Biological and artificial methods for creation of proteins differ significantly.
  • For biological protein synthesis, see protein biosynthesis.
  • For artificial protein synthesis, see peptide synthesis.
, which gives it the potential to fight cancer.

"Tumor cells are more actively producing new proteins than normal cells, so tumor cells are hundreds if not thousands of times more vulnerable to DMDAPatA's inhibition of protein synthesis, which makes DMDAPatA a good candidate as an anti-cancer agent.

"DMDAPatA is structurally simpler than PatA but exhibits similar activity in inhibiting NMD and protein synthesis.

"It has been patented by Texas A and M, evaluated by two pharmaceutical companies, and continues to be evaluated as a potential anti-cancer agent for both human and animal (pet) applications," he added.

The study is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry The Journal of Biological Chemistry (often abbreviated JBC) is a scientific journal founded in 1905 and published since 1925 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. . (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Nov 3, 2009
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