Kigamicin C is a member of the kigamicin antibiotics isolated from Amycolatopsis culture broths, with antimicrobial and antiproliferative properties. The kigamicins demonstrate growth inhibition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains, are active against gram-positive bacteria, and inactive against gram-negative bacteria. Kigamicin C and other kigamicins demonstrate cytotoxicity against PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells under nutrient starved conditions, requiring a markedly lower concentration (~100-fold) of kigamicin to inhibit growth of PANC-1 cells under nutrient-starved conditions than under nutrient-rich conditions. It is proposed that the kigamicins block the activation of PKB/Akt signaled by PANC-1 cells in response to a nutrient-deprived state, disturbing a potential mechanism of cancer starvation resistance. Extending these observations, Kigamicin D (representing the kigamicin family) is specifically show to suppress an activating phosphorylation of Akt presented by cells in response to a nutrient-starved growth medium. Kigamicin C and the kigamicins (named for kiga, a japanese word for starvation) present a novel intervention upon the resistance to nutrient starvation characteristic of oncogenesis.
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