The study, reported November 30 in PLoS Computational Biology relates to a class of drugs known as Select Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs), which includes tamoxifen, the most prescribed drug in the treatment of breast cancer.
Unexpected side effects account for one-third of all drug development failures and result in drugs being pulled from the market. Typically drugs are tested using an experimental method which aims to identify off-target proteins that cause side effects. The team in this study, led by Drs. Philip Bourne and Lei Xie, propose a computational modeling approach. If broadly successful the approach could shorten the drug development process and reduce costly recalls.
Rather than considering a single human protein to which a very large number of potential small molecule drugs can bind, Bourne et al. take a single drug molecule and look for how it might bind to as many of the proteins encoded by the human proteome as possible.
The team uses a case study focusing on SERMs to illustrate their technique. They report a previously unidentified protein target for SERMs which is supported by both biochemical and clinical data with known patient outcomes. The identification of a secondary binding site with adverse effects opens the door to changing the drug to maintain binding to the intended target, but to reduce binding to the off-target. This work is just the beginning of the process and experimental validation is continually needed.
By identifying new binding sites the computer analysis may also contribute to repositioning existing drugs to treat completely different diseases from those originally intended. Bourne and Xie are now working in this direction.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy