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Russian & Chinese scientists are developing anti-cancer drugs using apples and olive extracts

Russian and Chinese scientists have developed cancer treatments based on acid fromle and olive extracts.

These drugs are able to destroy cancer cells while causing minimal damage to nearby healthy tissues of the body. This was announced on Tuesday, June 27, by the press service of the Russian Science Foundation, and the article describing the study was published in the scientific journal Membranes.

Researchers have created first drugs that can destroy malignant tumors without harming healthy body cells forming its basis triterpene acids found in many plants such as apples, olives and garlic. Scientists have combined these molecules on the one hand with a chemical "carrier" that allows the delivery of these compounds to infected cells on the other hand.

The drugs were developed by a group of Russian and Chinese researchers led by Daria Nedubkina, a researcher at the Institute of Petrochemicals of the Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Ufa.

Scientists conducted experiments on triterpene acids, as biologically active compounds of plant origin. It is able to inhibit the functioning of mitochondria as the main cellular "power stations".

Mitochondria are particularly active in cancer cells. Scientists have tried to take advantage of this feature to develop new ways to treat cancer with minimal negative effects on healthy tissues. In particular, suppression of the action of the "power stations" stops the division of tumor bodies, and destabilization of mitochondria leads to the release of substances that cause cancer cells to commit suicide.

In theory, triterpene acids are well suited for this task. However, these compounds do not pass well through cell and mitochondrial membranes, which prevents their use. Russian and Chinese scientists found that this problem can be solved by combining triterpene acid molecules with the so-called F16 cation. It is a positively charged small molecule that is able to pass through membranes that are normally negatively charged. This allows the cation F16 to be used as a transport system that allows other molecules, including triterpene acids from apples and olives, to enter cancer cells and their mitochondria.

The authors of the study prepared several preliminary samples of anticancer drugs based on triterpene acids and compound F16. Subsequent analysis showed that adding a "carrier" molecule to the acids increased their concentrations in the mitochondria by about 154 times, compared to pure triterpene acids.

The scientists tested the action of these substances on three different lines of cancer cells. Relatively small doses of the new drugs were effective in destroying cancer cells while leaving surrounding tissue largely intact. In the near future, scientists will test the action of these molecules in animal experiments, which is necessary to start testing them among volunteers.

Source: TASS Published Date: 28.06.2023 Spurce link :

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