Issue Date: February 19, 2007
Macrolide inhibits tumor cell migration
Several members of a new class of synthetic macrolides have been found to inhibit the migration of breast cancer cells in vitro, opening the door to novel agents for halting or slowing the spread of cancer (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja068538d). Carole A. Bewley and postdoc Belhu B. Metaferia of NIH's National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases designed and synthesized six macrolides based on a scaffold derived from the natural product quinic acid, a tetrahydroxylated cyclohexanecarboxylic acid. In tests conducted by Xin-Yun Huang's group at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, in New York City, four of the new macrolides inhibited tumor cell migration, and the most potent one (shown) worked in the low nanomolar range. This compound's potency, Bewley tells C&EN, is comparable to that of the best previously reported tumor-cell-migration inhibitors (analogs of the macrolide natural product migrastatin), yet its synthesis is much simpler. Her group is now scaling up the synthesis of the compound for in vivo tests.
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