UCR

Institute for Integrative Genome Biology



Chemist Develops Anti-Cancer Compounds


IIGB/CEPCEB Chemist Michael Pirrung announced the development of a compound with the potential to fight renal cancer in a lecture he gave on Feb. 19 at the 5th International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy, held in Dubai, UAE.

Named TIR-199, the compound targets the “proteasome,” a cellular complex in kidney cancer cells, similar to the way the drug bortezomib, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, targets and inhibits the proteasome in multiple myeloma cells, a cancer coming from bone marrow. The proteasome breaks down proteins in the cell. Drugs that block the action of proteasomes are called proteasome inhibitors, and have been shown to have activity against a variety of cancer cell lines.

The TIR-199 research project  began about four years ago after a multidisciplinary, international team reported on a class of compounds that act on the proteasome. These compounds are the “syringolin” natural products — such as a compound produced naturally by the wheat-infecting bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. TIR-199 is a synthetic relative of syringolin.

Pirrung submitted TIR-199 samples to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, where the compound was subjected to a rigorous 60-cell screening used routinely to test compounds for their effectiveness in battling 60 kinds of cancer, including leukemia, lung, colon, brain, breast, ovarian prostate and renal cancers.

The UCR Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a patent application on TIR-199 and is currently seeking partners in industry interested in developing the compound commercially. Several biotechnology companies have already shown interest.

The project was funded by a grant from the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), to Tannya Ibarra-Rivera, a former postdoctoral researcher in Pirrung’s lab who helped discover TIR-199 and after whose initials the compound is named; and to Pirrung from the UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee.

For additional information, please visit:


More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Genomics Information

Institute of Integrative Genome Biology
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7177
E-mail: Jocelyn Brimo; Operations Manager

Footer