Targets for anti-cancer therapy discovered by studying a collection of natural products that similarly inhibit the growth of human cancer cells are reported online this week in Nature Chemical Biology.
Some naturally occurring small molecules can inhibit growth of human cancer cells, but the mechanism underlying these growth inhibitory properties is often unknown.
Matthew Shair and colleagues indentified the targets oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related proteins for natural products in cancer cells. OSBP and OSBP-related proteins have been implicated in signal transduction, lipid transport and lipid metabolism but were not known to impact cancer cell growth or survival.
The identification of a series of molecules that inhibit cancer cell growth by targeting these proteins provides the tools needed to further investigate the relationship between OSBP and OSBP-related proteins and cancer and provides new targets that should stimulate research into new therapies.