At the University of California, Riverside, chemists have developed a compound that holds much promise in the laboratory in fighting renal (kidney) cancer.
Named TIR-199, the compound targets the "proteasome" a cellular complex in kidney cancer cells, similar to the way the drug bortezomib, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, targets and inhibits the proteasome in multiple myeloma cells, a cancer coming from bone marrow.
Michael Pirrung, a distinguished professor of chemistry at UC Riverside, announced the development of TIR-199 in a lecture he gave on Feb. 19 at the 5th International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy, held in Dubai, UAE.
"The novel feature of our new proteasome inhibitor, TIR-199, is that it is nearly as potent as bortezomib, but is selective in inhibiting the growth of only renal cancer cell lines," Pirrung said. "It's what makes TIR-199 attractive."
The TIR-199 research project at UC Riverside began about four years ago after a multidisciplinary, international team reported on a class of compounds that act on the proteasome. These compounds are the "syringolin" natural products such as a compound produced naturally by the wheat-infecting bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. TIR-199 is a synthetic relative of syringolin.
"At UCR we began to work on, and completed the synthesis of, two compounds from this class of compounds," Pirrung said. "Of the two, TIR-199 showed most promise."