Kigamicin C was discovered by an anti-austerity strategy, targeting cancer cells' tolerance to starvation. It selectively kills PANC-1 cells (a pancreatic cell line) at concentrations 100 times lower under nutrient starved conditions than in normal conditions. The mechanism of action is proposed to be via blockade of aPKB/Akt activation, caused by the withdrawal of nutrients. It is active in vivo against a human pancreatic cancer xenograft model. Kigamicin C also inhibits the growth of Gram positive bacteria including MRSA, but is not active against Gram negative bacteria.
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