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Dr. Hyunshun Shin (L) and Mrs. Heather Whitehead Henry (R)

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Hyunshun Shin and Heather Whitehead Henry, who have just been published in the open access journal of Biochemistry and Pharmacology!

Heather is currently enrolled in the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy in Abilene. She worked with Dr. Shin as a summer Welch Student and presented a poster on this work at the 2011 Undergraduate Research Day in Austin. We are very proud of both of them!


Cell proliferation can be regulated by small, aliphatic polyamines, and it is suggested that tumor tissues have significantly higher polyamine levels than surrounding tissues. The major biologically active polyamines present in mammalian cells are putrescine, spermidine, and spermine. The Ornithine Decarboxylase (ODC) catalyzes the decarboxylation of ornithine to produce putrescine which is aprecursor of polyamine synthesis. We report here the synthesis of 2-Amino-5-(Hydroxyimino) Pentanoic Acid (AHPA), based on the substrate of ODC, L-ornithine, derivatized with oxime functionality. In molecular docking studies, the E-isomer AHPA binds to ODC more favorably than does the z-isomer. In addition, the growth of MCF-7 (Michigan Cancer Foundation–7) breast cancer cells in the presence of AHPA was significantly reduced. These results implicate that AHPA can be explored as a potential agent of cancer chemotherapy.

Full citation: Shin H, Whitehead H, Zhou X, Banta KL, Spencer JV.(2013) Synthesis and Evaluation of Ornithine Decarboxylase Inhibitors with Oxime Moiety and MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. Biochem Pharmacol 2:111. doi:10.4172/2167-0501.1000111

This research was funded by the Welch Foundation.