Scientists are reporting development of the first practical way to make large amounts of a promising new anti-cancer substance that kills cancer cells differently than existing medicines. Their article on synthesis of the substance, and tests demonstrating its effectiveness in the laboratory, appears in ACS' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Isamu Shiina and colleagues explain that the substance, AMF-26, showed promise against certain forms of cancer in laboratory studies, fostering excitement about its potential for development as a new anti-cancer drug. That excitement centered on AMF-26's action in targeting a structure in cells, the Golgi apparatus, that had never been exploited in the past. The Golgi apparatus sorts and modifies hormones, enzymes and other key proteins for transport elsewhere.
However, AMF-26 had been available in only small amounts by semisynthesis starting from AMF-14, which was extracted from the common soil mold of the genus Trichoderma.
Their report describes the first successful practical synthesis of AMF-26 and laboratory tests showing that the synthetic AMF-26 is just as effective as its natural counterpart. "The large-scale production of AMF-26 and its derivatives for the development of novel anticancer drugs are now in progress in this laboratory," the report states.
The authors acknowledge funding from Health and Labour Sciences Research Grants from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.
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