Researchers create novel compound targeting melanoma cells

Posted by pt91 at Jan 09, 2018 12:40 PM |
Leicester involved in international collaboration behind new compound

An international team of researchers, including a Professor from the University of Leicester, has developed a novel compound that successfully inhibits growth of melanoma cells by targeting specific epigenetic modifying proteins in these cells.

In the human body cells turn genes on and off by means of chemical modifications that change DNA and related proteins. These epigenetic changes are continuous and are at the core of how healthy cells transform into cancer cells. These modifications contribute to a tumor's ability to grow indefinitely, as well as making tumor cells drug resistant and capable of surviving treatments intended to kill them.

The new compound, Corin, specifically targets these epigenetic changes in cells and could therefore provide significant improvements in patients without unwanted side effects. These findings appear in the online journal Nature Communications.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and Universiita di Pavia, Harvard Medical School and the University of Leicester collaborated to develop a unique compound, Corin, that specifically acts to inhibit both demethylase and deacetylase activity in cells. Corin is particularly attractive as an inhibitor of epigenetic modifications because it has dual-target specificity which allows for more selective targeting of epigenetic complexes in treated cells.

Professor John Schwabe (pictured) from the University’s Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology said: “The development of Corin was possible as a result of a unique international collaboration between biochemists, medicinal chemists and clinical scientists."