Global Technology - August 2019

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For more than three decades, a gene called MYC has become one of the hottest targets for cancer researchers around the world.  MYC is known to drive tumor growth in nearly all cancer types.  Unfortunately, successfully targeting the MYC gene has, until recently, been an insurmountable challenge.

But now, researchers at Purdue University have discovered a novel set of MYC promoter G-quadruplex stabilizers that have demonstrated anticancer activity in human cancer cell cultures. 

The new anticancer agents may control tumor growth in nearly every cancer type.  The discovery was published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The Purdue team discovered potential anticancer agents that target the MYC promoter G-quadruplex and downregulate the expression of the MYC oncogene, which is overexpressed in cancer and is associated with almost all aspects of cancer development.  The novel set of G-quadruplex stabilizers may help stop the gene from driving tumor growth in hundreds of cancers.

Targeting promoter G-quadruplexes offers a new and exciting strategy to inhibit the critical oncogene expression in cancer cells.  The hope is to combine the potency of the DNA-targeted drugs with the selectivity of molecular-targeted approaches for new cancer therapeutics.

Some of the technology from this team’s work has been licensed to Gibson Oncology LLC.  The team previously worked on three anticancer agents that are in now clinical trials.


Journal of the American Chemical, June 3, 2019, “Indenoisoquinoline Topoisomerase Inhibitors Strongly Bind and Stabilize the MYC Promoter G-Quadruplex and Downregulate MYC,” by Kai-Bo Wang, et al.  © 2019 American Chemical Society.  All rights reserved.

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Protecting crops from pests and pathogens without using toxic pesticides has been a longtime goal of farmers.  But now, researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute have found that compounds from microscopic soil-roundworms could achieve this aim.

As described recently in the Journal of Phytopathology, these compounds helpprotect major crops...

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