Chemists explore the shape of the key that signals cell division in cancer cells

(Blacksburg, Va., April 10, 2002) -- Virginia Tech chemistry professor Felicia Etzkorn and her students are designing small molecules to mimic peptides in order to determine which form is critical to initiating cell division in cancer cells. The ultimate goal is to be able to design drugs to stop the cancer cell cycle.

The research will be presented at the 223rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, April 7-11 in Orlando.

Etzkorn explains, "We are doing rational drug design, targeting the cell-cycle-regulating enzyme, Pin1, with an eye towards anticancer activity."

Pin1 is important because it is the enzyme that regulates the protein Cdc25, which initiates mitosis or cell division. Pin1 is the gatekeeper to cell division. Without Pin1, the cell enters programmed cell death -- which is a good if its a cancer cell.

"We are designing small molecules that are peptide mimics. In this case, we have synthesized a peptide locked into two shapes, or conformations, called isomers. One of these isomers may inhibit the action of Pin1, but they have not been biologically tested yet," Etzkorn emphasizes.

Pin1 works by changing a peptide bond within Cdc25 from the trans shape to the cis shape and back. It is a simple change -- the swing of an arm one way or another, but over the length of many amino acids in a protein it is a large conformation change. "We don't know whether the trans shape or the cis shape signals Cdc25 to begin mitosis -- which is the active shape," says Etzkorn.

Graduate students Xiaodong (Jane) Wang and Scott Hart are the lead authors of the paper to be presented at ACS. "They have done a beautiful job of asymmetric synthesis of these molecules, providing high yields so we will have enough to test them biologically," says Etzkorn.

The next step is to include the mimics in a longer peptide, which will be tested biologically in Etzkorn's lab with Pin1 supplied by collaborator Todd

Contact: Felicia Etzkorn
Virginia Tech

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Chemists at four pharmaceutical companies named Heroes for treating childhood conditions
2. Chemists unlock secret to activating tumor suppressor gene
3. Chemists create unusual lariat RNA, a key intermediate in biological splicing
4. American Institute of Chemists names Ralph Hirschmann AIC Gold Medalist
5. Nanoencapsulation: Chemists at TSRI discover a new and simple way of controlling reactions
6. Chemists characterize regulators of zinc intake and export in cells
7. Chemists spin materials to improve magnetic resonance data
8. Chemists describe "zipper teeth" of DNA molecules -- publish results in the journal Nature
9. Chemists report new approach to synthetic fragments of medically important Heparin
10. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26
11. Chemists hold national meeting August 22-26 in New Orleans

Post Your Comments:

(Date:8/27/2019)... ... August 27, 2019 , ... e3 ... to announce that it has partnered with Bertec, a leading manufacturer of force ... Balance Advantage systems, a full line of clinical systems for both assessment and ...
(Date:8/25/2019)... ... ... Sierra Instruments is pleased to announce that their redesigned website portal ( sierrainstruments.com ... redesigned entry to the site with both engineers and those new to flow instruments ... streamlined menus and simple access to resources and information on products and services. ...
(Date:8/21/2019)... ... 21, 2019 , ... AbSci, a revolutionary synthetic biology company ... of complex protein therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Fred Larimore, PhD, to ... Larimore brings more than 30 years of experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and process ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/4/2019)... , ... September 03, 2019 ... ... of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene ... Science & Technology will present at the upcoming Nordic Life Science Days ...
(Date:8/29/2019)... NEW CENTURY, Kan. (PRWEB) , ... August 28, ... ... baking innovation expertise and wide-ranging DuPont™ Danisco® ingredient solutions to attendees at the ... cutting-edge science to solve today’s baking challenges from optimizing production efficiency to cost ...
(Date:8/27/2019)... ... August 27, 2019 , ... Modality Solutions , an ... promoted Consulting Engineer, Robert Battista, to Senior Consulting engineer. , In his new ... mentoring new engineers as well as the creation of additional business opportunities and ...
(Date:8/23/2019)... , ... August 22, 2019 , ... ... drug delivery modalities and is scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local listings ... state-of-the-art skin patches for generic drug delivery. Focusing on therapeutics for children and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: