Scientists in Göttingen have solved the high-resolution structure of the molecular transporter TSPO, which introduces cholesterol into mitochondria. This protein also serves as a docking site for diagnostic markers and different drugs, such as Valium. The detailed knowledge of its three-dimensional shape and function opens up new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.
Small protein fragments, also called peptides, are promising as drugs because they can be designed for very specific functions inside living cells. Insulin and the HIV drug Fuzeon are some of the earliest successful examples, and peptide drugs are expected to become a $25 billion market by 2018. However, a major bottleneck has prevented peptide drugs from reaching their full potential: Manufacturing the peptides takes several weeks.
As long as inexpensive statins, which lower cholesterol, are readily available and patients don’t mind taking them, it doesn’t make sense to do a heart scan to measure how much plaque has built up in a patient’s coronary arteries before prescribing the pills, according to a new study.
Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer-lasting vaccines against microbial pathogens or cancer.
A drug that unleashes the immune system to attack cancer can produce lasting remissions and hold the disease in check – for more than two years, in some cases – in many patients with advanced melanoma, according to a new study. The study provides the longest-term look so far at how melanoma patients have fared since receiving the drug, nivolumab, in a Phase 1 clinical trial.
The bark of the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense) has traveled a centuries-long road with the healing arts. Now it is being put through its paces by science in the fight against pancreatic cancer, with the potential to make inroads against several more.
A team of researchers identified mutations in a gene that can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even in people who have risk factors such as obesity and old age. The results focus the search for developing novel therapeutic strategies for type 2 diabetes; if a drug can be developed that mimics the protective effect of these mutations, it could open up new ways of preventing this devastating disease.
A team of scientists from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.
Acetaminophen provides many people with relief from headaches and sore muscles. When used appropriately, it is considered mostly harmless. Over recent decades, the drug has become the medication most commonly used by pregnant women for fevers and pain. Now, a long-term study by UCLA, in collaboration with the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has raised concerns about the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy.
A new bioprinting method creates intricately patterned 3D tissue constructs with multiple types of cells and tiny blood vessels. The work represents a major step toward a longstanding goal of tissue engineers: creating human tissue constructs realistic enough to test drug safety and effectiveness.
The development of drugs to treat acute stroke or aid in stroke recovery is an endeavor that only rarely pays off in the form of approval. Drug companies spend years testing safety and dosage in the clinic, only to find in Phase 3 clinical efficacy trials have little to no benefit. A robot developed at MIT may help speed up drug development, letting companies know earlier in the process whether a drug will work in stroke patients.
Scientists at UCSD developed a new genetic platform that allows efficient production of naturally occurring molecules, and have used it to produce a novel antibiotic compound. The scientists harvested a set of genes predicted to encode a natural product from ocean bacteria, then used synthetic biology technology to identify and test a new antibiotic – taromycin A – found to be effective in fighting drug-resistant MRSA.
Biotech drugmaker Amgen and Illumina, a maker of genetic testing equipment, said Wednesday they are developing a test that will identify patients who might be helped by Amgen's colon cancer drug Vectibix. Vectibix is approved as a treatment for colorectal cancer that has spread and hasn't rresponded to chemotherapy.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have identified key molecular components linking circadian rhythms and cell division cycles in Neurospora crassa, providing insights that could lead to improved disease treatments and drug delivery.
Engineers hope a new type of vaccine they have shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. Immunizations could be administered within minutes where and when a disease is breaking out.
Scientists have revealed an atomic-level view of a genetic defect that causes a form of muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy type 2, and have used this information to design drug candidates with potential to counter those defects.
Biologists at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered that low oxygen conditions, which often persist inside tumors, are sufficient to initiate a molecular chain of events that transforms breast cancer cells from being rigid and stationery to mobile and invasive.
Scientists have obtained the first detailed molecular structure of a member of the Tet family of enzymes. The finding is important for the field of epigenetics because Tet enzymes chemically modify DNA, changing signposts that tell the cell's machinery "this gene is shut off" into other signs that say "ready for a change."
A team of researchers from Canada has developed a class of compounds which may help eradicate a neglected tropical disease that is currently hard to kill in its chronic form. The research was published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have demonstrated a drug-discovery strategy with a double payoff—it enables the rapid selection of chemical compounds that have a desired effect on cells and also highlights how the compounds work. To illustrate the power of the innovative technique, the TSRI researchers used it to identify a compound that shows promise for treating obesity-linked diabetes. Learn more...
Researchers have identified how the ‘wall’ around cancer tumors functions and how to break it down, enabling the body’s own defenses to reach and kill the cancer cells within.
Researchers report promising steps toward the creation of a universal flu vaccine, one that could be produced more quickly and offer broader protection than the virus-specific inoculants available today.
New recommendations for using X-rays promise to speed investigations aimed at understanding the structure and function of biologically important proteins– information critical to the development of new drugs.
In a new study researchers have found a way of reducing ALS disease toxicity, which slows the dysfunction of neurons and shows that a parallel mechanism can reduce toxicity in mammalian cells.