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Ohio State chemists synthesize possible new anti-tumor agent

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Using a frothy brew of soil bacteria as a guide, chemists at Ohio State University have synthesized a substance that may lead to a new generation of chemotherapy drugs.

Laboratories around the world have struggled to create a synthetic version of the chemical, called azinomycin A, ever since it was discovered in bacteria in 1986. The natural form of the chemical breaks down too quickly for scientists to test whether it could be used to combat cancer cells in the body.

Now that Ohio State researchers have completed their quest to build an exact copy of azinomycin A atom by atom, they can try to redesign the chemical into a stable, medically usable form, said Rob Coleman, professor of chemistry at Ohio State and principal investigator of the project.

This research, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute, appears in the current issue of the German chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. The journal issue, dated May 5, 2001, is set to appear on the World Wide Web at on May 2, 2001, at http://www.angewandte.com.

"More important than synthesizing the agent is what we've learned along the way," Coleman said. "We need to understand the chemical mechanisms
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Contact: Robert Coleman
Coleman.184@osu.edu
614-292-4548
Ohio State University
1-May-2001


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