Method for Identifying Novel Telomerase Inhibitors with Utility in Cancer Treatment
Background Certain sequences of DNA are able to form unique, G-quadruplex structures. These structures are implicated in a variety of biological processes. One example of such a process is the cancer-cell specific elongation of chromosome telomeres by the enzyme telomerase. G-quadruplex structures have also been implicated in the transcriptional control of specific genes, and in inherited diseases such as fragile X syndrome.
Invention Description These compounds are inhibitors of the cancer-cell specific telomerase and have potential as anticancer agents.
Lack of toxicity: due to the high level of G-quadruplex DNA binding selectivity, these compounds are non-cytotoxic in acute cell toxicity studies, and in mice in vivo.
Novel mode of action: In addition to inhibiting the cancer cell specific enzyme telomerase, these compounds may have more immediate effects on disrupting telomere function in cancer cells. Selectivity: This class of compounds is the most selective G-quadruplex interactive agents known, with G-quadruplex DNA to double-stranded DNA binding selectivity of up to one-thousand-fold.
Market Potential/Applications Cancer treatments
Development Stage Proof of concept
IP Status Three foreign patent application filed
UT Researcher Sean M. Kerwin, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin Oleg Y. Fedoroff, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin Miguel Salazar, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Austin Laurence H. Hurley, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona
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