Mostly Cloudy
9°CThu :Mostly Sunny. High: 14 Low: 2

Bat Plant shows cancer-fighting potential

Bat Plant shows cancer-fighting potential

Washington: Bat plant, or Tacca chantrieri, could be used to fight cancer, according to researchers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The researchers have pinpointed the cancer-fighting potential in the plant.

Susan Mooberry, Ph.D., leader of the Experimental Development Therapeutics Program at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center and a professor of pharmacology in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center, has been working to isolate substances in the plant, looking for a plant-derived cancer drug with the potential of Taxol.

Taxol, the first microtubule stabilizer derived from the Yew family, has been an effective chemotherapy drug, but patients eventually develop problems with resistance over time and toxicity at higher doses.

So, researchers have long been seeking alternatives.

“We’ve been working with these for years with some good results, but never with the potency of Taxol,” said Dr. Mooberry, lead author of the study.

“Now we have that potency, and we also show for the first time the taccalonolides’ cellular binding site,” she stated.

Microtubules are structures in the cells that act as conveyer belts. They help maintain cell shape and help guide chromosones in cell division to ensure that every new cell, including every new cancer cell, gets a full complement of genetic material.

When microtubules are stabilized — essentially held still so they can’t do their jobs — this disrupts numerous cellular processes, and the cell can die.

The taccalonolides stabilize microtubules in cancer cells, but they do not attack healthy cells, Dr. Mooberry said.

“We’ve run normal prostate cells and normal breast cells through these tests, and they don’t die. The taccalonolides selectively kill cancer cells,” she noted.

 

Top Stories

Post retirement, PM to move to bungalow vacated by Sheila Dikshit

Post retirement, PM to move to bungalow vacated by Sheila Dikshit

February-28-2014
New Delhi: A sprawling bungalow on Motilal Nehru Place will be the abode of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once he retires after
Sukhbir Singh Badal takes jibe at Congress, dubs it as 'politically pauper'

Sukhbir Singh Badal takes jibe at Congress, dubs it as ‘politically pauper’

February-28-2014
Muktsar: Describing Congress as “politically pauper”, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday alleged that Congress was facing severe political
Train fires: Railways to reply SC on use of sub-standard materials

Train fires: Railways to reply SC on use of sub-standard materials

February-28-2014
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre and Railways on the allegation that use of sub-standard materials
Dark matter annihilation may be possible

Dark matter annihilation may be possible

February-28-2014
Washington: Researchers have claimed that gamma-ray photons observed from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy are consistent with the intriguing possibility
INS Sindhuratna fire: Police register accidental death case

INS Sindhuratna fire: Police register accidental death case

February-28-2014
Mumbai: On Thursday, police registered a case of accidental death over the fire incident on board the submarine INS Sindhuratna, in which
Electric bus service debuts in Bangalore

Electric bus service debuts in Bangalore

February-28-2014
Bangalore: State-run Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Friday began operating an electrically-charged bus service to provide eco-friendly public transport to commuters. Initially,