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Antimycins under study for chemotherapy resistance at University of East Anglia
August 2013
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NORWICH, United KingdomóUniversity of East Anglia (UEA) researchers are working on a new class of anti-cancer drugs that could address chemotherapy resistance, based on an antibiotic produced by bacteria that exist symbiotically with leaf cutter ants. Streptomyces bacteria live on the outer surface of leaf cutter ants and produce compounds known as antimycins, which demonstrate powerful activity against drug-resistant cancer cells. Chemotherapy resistance is often due to cancer cells producing proteins that block apoptosis, but antimycins can inhibit such proteins, and research has shown these compounds can be altered so that their harmful characteristics are blocked while the useful ones remain active. The UEA scientists hope to make such adjustments genetically so Streptomyces can be produced cheaply and in large amounts via bacteria in fermentation tanks.
   

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