Cancer Therapeutics Based on Novel Cyclopamine Analogs
Researchers at The Wistar Institute and The University of Pennsylvania have developed novel cyclopamine analogs with high potential as anti-cancer agents. Cyclopamine is a plant-derived alkaloid that is an effective inhibitor of the sonic hedgehog-GLI (SHH) signaling pathway which has been implicated in the development of a variety of cancers, including lung, prostate, and breast cancer. Cyclopamine has been demonstrated to reduce cancer cell proliferation, and to promote apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. However, cyclopamine is difficult and expensive to synthesize, limiting its usefulness as a therapeutic agent. Wistar and Penn researchers have developed a simple method for synthesizing cyclopamine analogs. Several of these analogs have been demonstrated to be effective inhibitors of sonic hedgehog signaling in vitro.