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Turning Tumor-Promoting Copper into an Anti-Cancer Weapon via High-Throughput Chemistry

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Copper is an essential element for multiple biological processes. Its concentration is elevated to a very high level in cancer tissues for promoting cancer development through processes such as angiogenesis. Organic chelators of copper can passively reduce cellular copper and serve the role as inhibitors of angiogenesis. However, they can also actively attack cellular targets such as proteasome, which plays a critical role in cancer development and survival. The discovery of such molecules initially relied on a step by step synthesis followed by biological assays. Today high-throughput chemistry and high-throughput screening have significantly expedited the copper-binding molecules discovery to turn “cancer-promoting” copper into anti-cancer agents.

Keywords: Copper; ROS; angiogenesis; oxidative stress; proteasome inhibitor

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, USA.

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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