Categorized | Melanoma News, Of Interest

Microbial metabolite is weapon against skin cancer

Source: Digital Journal, June 2018

Scientists based at Oregon State University have conducted research that shows how a describes a soil-living bacterium produces chemicals that can induce death in melanoma cells. The chemical is called mensacarcin and it was first isolated from Streptomyces bacteria. From this the researchers conclude that mensacarcin is a promising model for the development of new anticancer drugs.

Mensacarcin is a highly oxygenated polyketide; it is classed as a secondary metabolite, and can be obtained in large amounts from its producing bacterium.

The new research builds upon earlier work from Oregon State University. This showed the effect against melanoma cells occurs by specific disruption of mitochondrial function in human cells (the most prominent roles of mitochondria are to produce the energy currency of the cell, in the form of ATP – adenosine triphosphate). Here a synthesized fluorescent probe of mensacarcin was localized to the mitochondria within 20 minutes of treatment.

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