MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: More efficient production of paclitaxel

Back to cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

More efficient production of paclitaxel




Research by Michigan State University chemist Kevin Walker is paving the way for potentially cleaner, more efficient production of cancer-fighting paclitaxel - better known as the blockbuster drug Taxol.

First isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew in 1967, paclitaxel has since been made by synthetically modifying an intermediate substance isolated from yew needles using toxic solvents or by fermenting cell cultures.

Walker's method employs natural enzymes instead. "Pharmaceutical companies could reduce the steps involved in making Taxol," he said, "while cutting chemical byproducts".



More efficient production of paclitaxel
Shown is the broad specificity of the enzyme from yew plants that make the potent cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol). Each acyl CoA shown can 'funnel' to the reactive site 'conveyor' of the enzyme and transfer to a prodrug skeleton. Graphic conceived by Kevin D. Walker, drafted by Thomas P. Carter.


Walker, an assistant professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, studies enzymes that assemble the Taxol molecule in Taxus plants. "This process is like painting from a palette," Walker said. "We can add select colors to the palette from which the enzyme chooses, so the molecule can be crafted in a variety of ways. The enzyme does all the work.

"A plant enzyme can do in one step what traditional synthetic construction does in multiples steps," Walker said. "Under our process, the construction of Taxol uses a biological assembly line where each enzyme does its job to create the final product. Particular enzymes on the assembly line can attach slightly different components on the molecular frame to create new-generation Taxol molecules. This can lead to more effective drug variants and eventually better health care therapy".

Taxol "is definitely a frontline drug and is used to treat a number of cancers," including those of the breast, lung, head and neck, said Barbara Conley, chief of the MSU Department of Medicine's hematology and oncology division.

With a world bulk paclitaxel market generating revenues of $195 million in 1997, potential new uses for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and tuberculosis are expected to help boost the world market 10 percent by 2012, as per Global Industry Analysts Inc.

Walker's team's research was funded by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. "The science and technology of plants and natural systems is becoming increasingly relevant in human medicine as researchers look for greater efficiencies and 'greener' ways of manufacturing drugs and other health care products," said MAES director Steve Pueppke. "Engaging in research that leads to improvements in human and animal health is a large and important part of the MAES mission".


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Research by Michigan State University chemist Kevin Walker is paving the way for potentially cleaner, more efficient production of cancer-fighting paclitaxel - better known as the blockbuster drug Taxol. First isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew in 1967, paclitaxel has since been made by synthetically modifying an intermediate substance isolated from yew needles using toxic solvents or by fermenting cell cultures.

Medicineworld.org: More efficient production of paclitaxel

Main Page| Cancer blog| Cancer blogs list| Lung cancer blog| Colon cancer blog| Prostate cancer blog| Breast cancer blog| Diabetes watch blog| Heart watch blog| Allergy blog| Bladder cancer blog| Cervical cancer blog| Colon cancer news blog| Diabetes news blog| Esophageal cancer blog| Gastric cancer blog| Health news blog| Heart news blog| Infectious disease blog| Kidney watch blog| Lung disease blog| Lung cancer news blog| Mesothelioma blog| Neurology blog| Breast cancer news blog| OBGYN blog| Ophthalmology blog| Ovarian cancer blog| Cancer news blog| Pancreas cancer blog| Pediatrics blog| Prostate cancer news blog| Psychology blog| Research blog| Rheumatology blog| Society news blog| Uterine cancer blog| Weight watch blog|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.