Natural product from a fungus could shed light on cellular interactions prominent in cancer

Natural product from a fungus could shed light on cellular interactions prominent in cancer

A fungus that attacks almond and peach trees may be key to identifying new drug targets for cancer therapy. A team of Florida State University researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry found that a natural product from the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali stabilizes a family of proteins in the cell that mediate important signaling pathways involved in the pathology of cancer and neurological diseases. Their work is published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology. Assistant Professor James Frederich and Professor Brian Miller found that fusicoccin -; a product derived from the fungus -; binds to and stabilizes protein complexes formed between 14-3-3 adaptor proteins and a subset of their client interaction partners. The 14-3-3 proteins are essentially major intersections in cells for signaling and regulatory operations. When their functions go awry, a disease is often present. Our goal in this study was to take one of the most intractable signaling networks in cell biology and develop a way to study it. Our work draws inspiration from a structurally complex natural product, which we used as a tool to identify new targets for cancer cell biology." James Frederich, Assistant Professor, Florida State University Related Stories



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