New compounds from starfish of Kuril basin show efficacy against cancer cells.

June 26, 2020

Russian scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), G. B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (PIBOC FEB RAS), and A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center for Marine Biology (NSCMB FEB RAS) have discovered four new steroid substances which target cells of human breast cancer, and colorectal carcinoma. They were extracted from the starfish Ceramaster patagonicus, a Kuril basin seabed dweller. A related article appears in Marine Drugs.

The discovery made due to the joint expedition of scientists of FEFU and Far Eastern Branch of Russian Science Academy (FEB RAS) to the Kuril Islands at the "Academic Oparin" research vessel.

Four new compounds belong to non-typical derivatives of polar steroids with residual tails of fatty acids in the molecular structure. According to scientists, these compounds may be responsible in the body of starfish for the delivery of nutrients from the digestive tract to peripheral cells, acting alike bile acids in the human stomach. Previously, only one such compound was isolated from starfish.

In the study, scientists point out a pronounce anticancer effect of the unusual molecules. At the same time, researchers suggest that, due to their steroid nature, one can potentially consider such substances from starfish as blockers of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, etc.), since they help nerve cells survive distress like, for example, low levels of oxygen and glucose.

"Importantly, the new steroid compounds from starfish curb the reproduction of cancer cells in non-toxic concentrations. That gives a hope that new substances will not kill healthy body cells, and makes a promise for further study and testing," says Timofey Malyarenko, Ph.D., associate professor of the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry and Biotechnology, FEFU School of Natural Sciences, Deputy Director for Science and Senior Researcher at Laboratory of Chemistry of Marine Natural Compounds in PIBOC FEB RAS. "It is interesting that these compounds had been found almost by accident when I was looking for new lipid molecules or fats of marine origin in the starfish extract. During the separation of substances on chromatographic plates (TLC), curious spots were detected. Having studied them, we established the structures of four new derivatives of polar steroids with fatty acids. There are five of them in the world now."

According to the scientist, the next step of the study could be the production of molecules with increased therapeutic properties based on steroid compounds. In addition, it is probable to scrutinize the new compounds to reveal the most active molecules responsible for the drug effect. It would give the opportunity to look for similar compounds in other types of starfishes. Potentially, these future substances will be even more effective.

FEFU University runs a priority project for a comprehensive study of the biological resources of the World Ocean. Among the aims of the project is to pick new biologically active marine substances and cast them for the roles of drugs of the future.
The Russian Science Foundation (RSF) supported the study. Grant No. 18-74-10028 "Biologically active metabolites of marine invertebrates as promising drugs in the complex therapy of cancer".

Far Eastern Federal University

Related Cancer Cells Articles from Brightsurf:

Cancer researchers train white blood cells to attacks tumor cells
Scientists at the National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) and Dresden University Medicine, together with an international team of researchers, were able to demonstrate that certain white blood cells, so-called neutrophil granulocytes, can potentially - after completing a special training program -- be utilized for the treatment of tumors.

New way to target some rapidly dividing cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Oxford say they have found a new way to kill some multiplying human breast cancer cells by selectively attacking the core of their cell division machinery.

Breast cancer cells use message-carrying vesicles to send oncogenic stimuli to normal cells
According to a Wistar study, breast cancer cells starved for oxygen send out messages that induce oncogenic changes in surrounding normal epithelial cells.

Breast cancer cells turn killer immune cells into allies
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that breast cancer cells can alter the function of immune cells known as Natural killer (NK) cells so that instead of killing the cancer cells, they facilitate their spread to other parts of the body.

Breast cancer cells can reprogram immune cells to assist in metastasis
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have uncovered a new mechanism by which invasive breast cancer cells evade the immune system to metastasize, or spread, to other areas of the body.

Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.

Drug that keeps surface receptors on cancer cells makes them more visible to immune cells
A drug that is already clinically available for the treatment of nausea and psychosis, called prochlorperazine (PCZ), inhibits the internalization of receptors on the surface of tumor cells, thereby increasing the ability of anticancer antibodies to bind to the receptors and mount more effective immune responses.

Engineered bone marrow cells slow growth of prostate and pancreatic cancer cells
In experiments with mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have slowed the growth of transplanted human prostate and pancreatic cancer cells by introducing bone marrow cells with a specific gene deletion to induce a novel immune response.

First phase i clinical trial of CRISPR-edited cells for cancer shows cells safe and durable
Following the first US test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report these patients experienced no negative side effects and that the engineered T cells persisted in their bodies -- for months.

Zika virus' key into brain cells ID'd, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells
Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule -- αvβ5 integrin -- as Zika virus' key to brain cell entry.

Read More: Cancer Cells News and Cancer Cells Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to