A fungus that infects the almond and peach trees, could be the key to the identification of new targets for the treatment of cancer.
A group of researchers of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Florida found that a natural product of the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali stabilizes a family of proteins in the cell that mediate important signaling pathways associated with cancer disease and neurological diseases. The results are published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.
Associate Professor James Frederich and Professor Brian Miller found that fusicoccin product obtained from a fungus, binds and stabilizes protein complexes formed between the adapter proteins and 14-3-3 subset of their partners. 14-3-3 proteins are a major intersection of cells to transmit signals and regulatory functions.
"The purpose of the study is to take one of the most complex signaling networks in cell biology and to develop a way to study it, - said Frederich -. Our work is inspired by a structurally complex natural products, which we used as a tool to identify new targets for cancer cell biology. "
Through this process, Frederich Miller and their students have identified 119 protein interactions that can serve as targets for fusicoccin people. Some of them are important in cancer and other diseases. The research team has already narrowed the list to 14, which they consider promising.
"The opening of the new alleged biological purposes, which could clarify the mechanism of action of this natural product, is an important step forward, - says Miller -. The identification of these new targets is very interesting, as it can potentially provide information about the development of derivatives fusicoccin with special actions. "To study the potential fusicoccin researchers combined their expertise in the field of organic chemistry and biochemistry.
"The unique combination of experimentation and bioinformatics, presented in this work lies at the intersection of chemistry and biology, - says Miller -. We hope that these kinds of chemical biology of cooperation can be extended."