Devin J Simbol

San Francisco State University

“Investigating Prostate Cancer-Selective Crude Extract Mixtures From Marine Actinomycete Bacteria”

Prostate cancer impacts over 1-in-8 American men, signaling a need for effective treatments. Streptomyces sp. CP59-55, a marine sediment-derived actinomycete bacteria strain, produced an organic extract mixture that exhibited selective toxicity against LNCaP, a human prostate cancer cell line. The goal of this project is to discover a novel prostate cancer drug candidate by identifying and characterizing the many components of the mixture. CP59-55 was cultured under two different growth conditions, yielding two crude extract mixtures with more than 15 major nonpolar compounds each. UV spectrum analysis predicted these compounds to hold naphthoquinone moiety. The mixtures were purified through high-performance liquid chromatography before elucidating molecular structures through nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Known bioactive compounds, napyradiomycin B4 and (3R)-3-chloro-6-hydroxy-8-methoxy-α-lapachone, were identified from CP59-55’s mixture. New drug candidates with high prostate cancer selectivity are expected to be discovered as the remaining compounds in Streptomyces sp. CP59-55’s extract are characterized. By targeting highly selective compounds, we strive to discover a drug with fewer side effects than those currently standard in chemotherapies.


Natural products derived from marine microorganisms hold great promise as anticancer pharmaceuticals. To discover a novel prostate cancer drug candidate, I investigate metabolites produced by Streptomyces sp. CP59-55.

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