Unexpected X-ray Activated Cancer Therapy

Radiation binds FOBISIN to proteins involved in cancer spread

(RxWiki News) A funny thing happened on the way to imaging a compound. The very method used to look at this new substance turned out to produce a potential new anticancer therapy.

An experimental compound known as FOBISIN is designed to kill certain proteins involved in cancer cell growth.  Researchers used x-ray to view how the compound and protein fit together, when unexpectedly the compound latched onto the protein. The net effect was that the x-ray activated the drug and triggered its "potent anticancer activity."

"X-ray and compound work together to kill cancer cells."

The molecules being targeted are called 14-3-3 proteins. These are bad guys involved in cell growth in a number of cancers, including lung and breast cancers, according to senior author, Haian Fu, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and of hematology and oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.

He explains that 14-3-3 proteins work like adaptors that clamp onto and partner with other proteins to help cancer cells thrive.

FOBISIN, which stands for Fourteen-three-three Binding Small molecule Inhibitor, keeps 14-3-3 from interacting with its deadly co-conspirators.

The unexpected consequence involving the x-ray suggests that FOBISIN could be developed into what's known as a "pro-drug" which works with radiation to make other drugs attach to their targets.

Fu says compounds like FOBISIN could be used with other techniques to better pinpoint targets.

Study results have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Review Date: 
September 16, 2011