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Natural Products from Scottish Non-Food Crops as Multi-Drug Resistance Effectors in Cancer Cells

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Project Description

Cultivation of non-food crops for high value chemicals’ production for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food and cosmeceutical industries is a growing area of industrial biotechnology. Plants have been used as a source of traditional medicines and modern drugs for thousands of years, and many Scottish plants possess bioactivities as single or mixtures of compounds.

Current research within the Centre for Natural Products in Health at RGU focuses on the characterisation of extracts from a library of Scottish plants by determining their potential to enhance activity of currently used anti-cancer agents and overcome chemo-resistance in cancer cells. In parallel, the James Hutton Institute (JHI) is determining the chemical composition, metabolomics, of extracts from Scottish plants that have the potential to be grown at scale as a non-food crop. This project aims to combine these two areas of research by linking bioactivity and metabolomics studies of extracts/fractions from Scottish plants.

Bioactivity assays and gene/protein expression studies will be performed at RGU. Several types of cancer, including breast cancer, are becoming insensitive and resistant to currently available effective clinical therapies. Altered regulation of transporter molecules, which control anti-cancer drugs’ efflux, have been identified as a key mechanism involved in multi-drug resistance (MDR); therefore, agents that prevent/reduce removal of drugs from cancer cells could be used as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products. The project aims to identify extracts and fractions that can reverse MDR and investigate possible interactions at the level of transporter molecules in vitro. Extracts and fractions exhibiting activity will be subjected to metabolomic analysis at JHI to determine their chemical composition and potentially identify candidate bioactive CAM compounds.

In partnership with the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen

Status Project Live
Funder(s) Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance
Value £1,650.00
Project Dates Nov 1, 2020 - Dec 31, 2021

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