A University of Florida study examining the marine natural product largazole as a treatment option for brain diseases is featured on the July 2020 cover of the American Chemical Society’s Chemical Neuroscience journal. The caption reads: “Surfing across the blood-brain barrier with a purpose and a splash: The marine natural product and potent class I HDAC inhibitor largazole has activity against glioblastoma cells and induces neuroprotective and antiproliferative functional responses in the brain through modulation of gene expression of entire networks underlying CNS diseases.”
Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the department of medicinal chemistry and the Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development in the UF College of Pharmacy, led the study titled, “Largazole is a Brain-Penetrant Class I HDAC Inhibitor with Extended Applicability to Glioblastoma and CNS Diseases.”
Largazole was discovered in cyanobacteria collected by Luesch’s team off the coast of the Florida Keys, and it has shown characteristics of being highly effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth and reprogramming cancer and other cell types. In the latest study, Luesch’s research team found largazole gets into the brain, has activity against glioblastoma cells, an aggressive and often fatal type of brain cancer, and modulates gene expression to combat other central nervous system diseases.