Special projects between Bavaria and Florida

Dr. N. Tschammer

Lehrstuhl für Pharmazeutische Chemie
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Dr. A. Khaled

Biomolecular Science Center
University of Central Florida

Targeted Drug Delivery of BAX-regulating compounds for cancers overexpressing

Dysregulation of proteins, involved in the regulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis) proteins is closely linked to the resistance of malignant cells to standard therapeutic approaches such as chemotherapy.  Often, resistance to apoptosis is enhanced by cross-talk with growth-promoting peptides and their receptors, such as neurotensin and its receptor NTR1, which are typically expressed at higher expression level in neoplastic tissues compared to normal tissue. 
To deliver apoptosis-promoting compounds to the neoplastic NTR1 rich tissues, various NTR1 ligands will be coupled to peptides derived from BAX (pro-apoptotic protein). Toxic effects of the novel compounds would be tested in tumor cell lines and, later, in murine tumor models.

Final report

During the BaCaTec funding period, the researcher of the German project site visited the laboratory in US to facilitate the planning of short- and long-term goals. On site, detailed experimental planning was performed and a test assay developed. Preliminary experiments confirmed that peptides derived from BAX and coupled to the metabolically stable variant of NTR1 ligand can selectively induce the death of NTR1 positive cancer cells.  Based on these encouraging outcomes, we are planning to submit a joint research grant to acquire further financial support for this exciting bilateral project. 

Along with project-specific work, the current scientific efforts of the German site were presented to a brooder scientific audience (the lecture as  a joint event of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Biomolecular Science Center of University of Central Florida and Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando, Florida) to share the ideas and to promote additional collaborative efforts.



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