Scientists have broken the rules of enzyme engineering to unlock a new method for creating chemical reactions that could unlock a wide range of new applications -- from creating new drugs to food production.
Humans are exposed to various environmental or dietary molecules that can attenuate or even increase the effect of therapeutic drugs. Studies on the industrial chemical bisphenol A and the phytoestrogen genistein, for example, have shown drug-exposome interactions. However, interactions between exposures and therapeutic agents have not been systematically investigated to date, conclude chemists Benedikt Warth and Manuel Pristner at the University of Vienna in a review article published in 'Trends in Pharmacological Sciences'.
UC Riverside engineers filled a glass tube bent like a tuning fork, kept vibrating by a circuit at its resonance frequency, with simulated stomach and intestine contents and passed an over-the-counter time-release drug granule through the tube. They observed a brief change in the frequency. When plotted, they could compare the peaks of resonance frequency against the time to learn the buoyant mass of the drug granule at that moment.
Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes. Despite wide interest, the mechanism by which plants produce them has remained shrouded in mystery until now. New work reveals a gene responsible for anthraquinone synthesis in plants. Their findings could help scientists cultivate a plant-based mechanism for harvesting these useful compounds in bulk quantities.
A proof-of-concept study conducted in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease offers new evidence that copper isotopes can be used to detect the amyloid-beta protein deposits that form in the brains of people living with -- or at risk of developing -- Alzheimer's.
A new therapy for influenza virus infections that may also prove effective against many other pathogenic virus infections, including HIV and COVID-19, has been developed by Purdue University scientists. The Purdue team's approach uses a targeted therapy approach against the virus infections.
A bird-catching Chinese tarantula bite contains a stinger-like poison that plunges into a molecular target in the electrical signaling system of their prey's nerve cells. New cryo-electron microscopy studies show how this venom traps the voltage sensors of sodium channels in a resting state so they can't be activated. Such research may suggest designs for better drugs for chronic pain.
Atom-scale models of proteins that incorporate ligands, like drug molecules, shows a strong correlation between minimally frustrated binding sites and drug specificity. Such models could lead to better-designed drugs with fewer side effects.
The cell membrane is impermeable to viruses: to get inside a cell, they have to exploit the biochemical properties of the membranes. The thiol-mediated uptake is one of the entry mechanisms. A research group from the University of Geneva has identified inhibitors of thhis cellular entry that block viruses expressing the SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The study paves the way for research into new antivirals.
A collaborative research team from the University of Oklahoma, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Merck & Co. published an opinion article in the journal, Nature Chemical Biology, that addresses the gap in the discovery of new antibiotics.