Ohio State chemists synthesize possible new anti-tumor agent

behind azinomycin A so that we can develop more effective anti-tumor agents in the future."

Coleman said an enhanced version of azinomycin A might make an especially potent chemotherapy agent. He pointed to laboratory tests from 1987, when Japanese scientists found that the short-lived natural version of the chemical attacked tumor cells in a test tube and was effective as combating cancer in animal models.

Scientists now believe azinomycin A and its sibling azinomycin B -- both produced by a type of Streptomyces soil bacteria - attack DNA by forming very strong bonds, and are two of only a handful of chemicals that bond to DNA in this way.

In 1989, Coleman first began to design the chemical steps needed to synthesize azinomycin A and B in the laboratory. He started the work at the University of South Carolina and, beginning in 1996, at Ohio State.

Over that time, several researchers contributed to the project. In particular, Coleman credits Andrew Carpenter and Thomas Richardson, both his former Ph.D. students, and Jian-She Kong, an Ohio State postdoctoral researcher in chemistry, with performing important preliminary studies. The Ohio State work in the Angewandte Chemie paper was done by Coleman's co-authors, Jing Li and Antonio Navarro, both postdoctoral researchers.

Coleman and his colleagues devised a strategy for breaking the complex-shaped azinomycin A molecule int

Contact: Robert Coleman
Ohio State University

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