Simplified antibiotic may set the stage for antitumor treatments

Source: ScienceDaily, January 2021

Garden soil houses a variety of bacteria and their natural byproducts — including one that may help halt tumor growth. Lankacidins are molecules that can be isolated from Strepomyces rochei, a common bacterium in soil. In addition to antimicrobial properties, a type of lankacidins, called lankacidin C, can inhibit tumor activity in various cancer cell lines, including leukemia, melanoma, ovarian and breast cancers. Lankacidin C offers a potential foundation on which to design anticancer drugs, but its structure is complicated and difficult to manipulate, according to an international research group. The same group recently identified where antitumor activity is housed on the molecule and has now used that information to simplify lankacidin as a potential starting point to engineer treatments.