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BC Chemistry & Biology Researchers Use Novel Organic Molecules to Understand Cancer Cell Survival Pathways

JACSA series of small organic molecules termed, D-3-deoxyphosphatidylinositol (D-3-deoxy-PI) and their derivatives, have been reported to demonstrate cytotoxic (i.e., cell-killing) activity against human cancer cells.  The innovative organic synthesis strategy was designed by Dr. S. Miller of Yale University (Chemistry Department) to specifically yield optically pure L- and D-3-deoxy-PI compounds.  These molecules appear to block a critical survival pathway in cells (i.e., PI-3K/Akt pathway) and will provide researchers from the BC Biology and Chemistry Departments and their collaborators from Yale and Brandeis Universities to explore novel pathways to induce death of U937 human leukemic cells. The paper is entitled "Insights into the Structural Specificity of the Cytotoxicity of 3-Deoxyphosphatidylinositols" and was published at the Journal of the American Chemical Society.