UNAIR Researchers Find Potential Compound to Cure Cancer

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Illustration of Scientific Articles by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Dr. Hery Suwito, M.Si with his four colleagues managed to find a compound that could potentially become anti-cancer in the future. It is Ethyl 4-[5-(methoxymethyl)furan-2-yl]-2-oxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carboxylate.

The organic chemistry lecturer from Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) explained that the idea was originated from the discovery of monastrol compound that has moderate anti-cancer activity. The monastrol contains sulfur in its molecular structure while the new compound has an oxygen element.

“So we want to make compounds whose basic structure is the same as monastrol, only if monastrol uses S (Sulfur, ed), we use O (Oxygen, ed),” said Hery.

The new compound is also a class of dihydropyrimidine and usually, the dihydropyrimidine group compounds have a variety of activities.

One of them is as a protein inhibitor Eg5. Eg5 protein is a protein that plays a role in the formation of microtubules (one of the stages of cell growth and proliferation, ed) which if the stage is stopped, the cancer cells will stop growing.

“We are testing the new compound in breast & cervical cancer cells. However, the results are no better than Monastrol, “he explained.

In subsequent studies, Hery tried to test the compound for anti-microbial properties. Three microbes used were Staphylococcus aureusEscherichia coli and Candida albicans . The three microbes represent gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria and fungi.

After being tested, it is known that the solubility of the new compound in the body system is not good. Thus, it is difficult to be absorbed by body cells.

“Then, I made this compound in the form of nano particles so that their solubility in the body system could be much higher,” Hery explained.

The results showed that the converted compound has enough strength as an anti-microbial. In fact, it is almost equal to positive control (anti-microbial that is currently used in the health world, ed).

Dr. Hery Suwito, M.Si

In the future, Hery plans to test the shape of nano particles in cancer cells. With the hope that the anti-cancer strength of the nano particles as high as tested on microbes.

As the new compound works apoptosis, it has the ability to inhibit the formation of spindles in the process of cancer cell development. Thus, cancer cells cannot divide and eventually die.

“I want to modify the shape of this compound so it becomes a nano particle so its solubility in the body system becomes higher and it can enter the cell system and its anti-cancer activity increases,” concluded Hery.

Author: Galuh Mega Kurnia

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Source :  Suwito, H. et al., 2017. Ethyl 4-[5-(methoxymethyl)furan-2-yl]-6-methyl-2oxo-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyrimidine-5-carboxylate. molbank, 2017(3), pp. 1-5.

Link : https://www.mdpi.com/1422-8599/2017/3/M954

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