Today, cancer has become a major public health problem and we estimate more than 1.3 million cancer-related deaths in Europe in 2013. The emergence of cancer resistances towards chemotherapeutic treatments forces to the discovery of new drugs. Natural organisms are a virtually inexhaustible source of molecules structurally very heterogeneous and having varied therapeutic applications. In the first part of this project, we studied the effect of curcumin, a molecule isolated from the roots of Curcuma longa, on the Wingless (Wnt) signalling pathway in the case of prostate cancer. Our results emphasize the chemopreventive potential of curcumin in prostate cancer. This natural molecule can be considered as an alternative modality, non-toxic to prevent the progression of prostate cancer and to eradicate the androgen-dependent early stage. The second part of the project involved the isolation of anti-cancer molecules from the carnivorous plant Dionaea muscipula. After selection and identification of a substance which turned out to be plumbagin, we investigated the possible reasons for the differential plumbagin sensitivity of hematopoietic cell lines. Our results suggest that this molecule affects the thiol groups of some proteins. In conclusion, the example of curcumin as chemopreventive agent in the development of prostate cancer and plumbagin in the treatment of leukemia have shown that naturally occurring substances are excellent candidates for the development of future anti-cancer drugs.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Discovery, identification and characterization of natural origins molecules capable of targeting transduction, proliferation inflammation pathways and cell death in cancer cells
|Published - Dec 20 2013