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Research Team Study Fungus Attacking Almond Trees for Possible Cancer Therapy

A fungus that damages almond and peach trees could also be vital to identifying new drug targets for cancer remedy.Research Team Study Fungus Attacking Almond Trees for Possible Cancer Therapy

A group of Florida State University researchers from the Division of Chemistry and Biochemistry discovered that a natural element from the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali balances a family of proteins in the cell that mediates vital signaling pathways involved in the pathology of cancer and neurological diseases.

Prof. James Frederich and Professor Brian Miller discovered that fusicoccin—a product obtained from the fungus—binds to and stabilizes protein complexes developed between 14-3-3 adaptor proteins and a subset of their consumer interaction companions. The 14-3-3 proteins are major intersections in cells for signaling and regulatory developments. When their functions go awry, the disease is often present.

Through this course, Frederich, Miller, and their students recognized 119 protein-protein interactions that may serve as targets for fusicoccin in people.

Some of these PPIs are important in cancer and other ailments. The research group has already contracted that list down to 14 PPI targets that they discover particularly promising.

The work is an ongoing partnership between Frederich and Miller, who mixed their knowledge in organic chemistry and biochemistry respectively, to explore the potential of fusicoccin.