Porco Tumor Inhibition Research Reported in Science

in Faculty, Front Page
August 1st, 2013

Prof. John A. Porco, Jr.

A new study co-authored by John A. Porco, Jr., Professor of Chemistry and Diector of the Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development at Boston University (CMLD-BU), along with collaborators at the Whitehead Institute has identified rocaglamide A, an inhibitor of translation initiation, as a strong inhibitor of Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) activation. HSF1 inhibitors have received gained significant attention their potential role in the rapid development of anticancer drugs with completely new modes of action.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that rocaglamide A, a naturally occurring anticancer agent, effectively inhibits HSF1 activation. The article, “Tight Coordination of Protein Translation and HSF1 Activation Supports the Anabolic Malignant State,” S. Santagata et al., Science 341, 1238303 (2013), is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1238303).

The study is the latest product of a three-year research grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to Porco and Dr. Luke Whitesell, senior scientist in the laboratory of Prof. Susan Lindquist at MIT’s Whitehead Institute. This combined biology/chemistry team came together specifically to identify highly potent and selective HSF1 inhibitor probes with useful activity in vivo.

The College of Arts and Sciences Press Release can be accessed here.