Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study points to potential new use for Viagra

28.08.2008
A “basic science” breakthrough by Queen’s researchers into regulating a single enzyme may lead to new drug therapies that will help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Led by professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Donald Maurice, the study focuses on the effects of Viagra – the popular erectile dysfunction drug, which is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension.

The team’s findings will be published on-line this week in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“As scientists, we’re excited about this discovery because it’s a fundamentally new approach to regulating what enzymes do in cells,” says Dr. Maurice, a Career Scientist with the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation. “The fact that it also offers a potentially novel use of a drug already widely in use for other applications is an unexpected bonus.”

The enzyme targeted by the Queen’s researchers is known to regulate the activity of platelets: small blood cells needed for normal blood clotting. Problems can arise when people have stents permanently implanted in their arteries to maintain blood flow. Their platelets sometimes bind to the stent and, if enough platelets accumulate to form a blockage, this may cause a sudden, massive heart attack or stroke to occur.

Drugs like Viagra have been shown to inhibit PDE5, explains Lindsay Wilson, a PhD student in Pathology and Molecular Medicine and first author on the study. Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to isolate the small “pool” of activity within the cell where this is occurring.

The Queen’s study shows that within each cell there are two different pools of the PDE5 enzyme, but that only one of them regulates platelet activation. “Understanding how the cell works should allow us to affect the activity of enzymes in one neighborhood – and leave alone their ‘identical twins’ in a different neighborhood in that cell,” says Ms Wilson.

“The idea is to use a PDE5 inhibitor such as Viagra selectively to inhibit platelet function,” she continues. We now know that not all the enzymes in the cell are doing the same job. Just like in real estate, it’s all about the location!”

Other members of the Queen’s research team are Hisham Elbatarny and Brian Bennett (Pharmacology and Toxicology), and Scott Crawley (Biochemistry). Funding came from the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

PLEASE NOTE: A PDF copy of the study is available upon request.

Nancy Dorrance, nancy.dorrance@queensu.ca, 613.533.2869 or Molly Kehoe, molly.kehoe@queensu.ca, 613.533.2877, Queen's News & Media Services.

Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.queensu.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>