Their work shows that maslinic acid – a natural product extracted from dry olive-pomace oil in oil mills – inhibits serin-protease, an enzyme used by HIV to release itself from the infected cell into the extracellular environment and, consequently, to spread the infection into the whole body. These scientists from Granada determined that the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80% slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body.
Maslinic or crataegolic acid is a pentacyclic terpene with antioxidant and anticancer effects found in wax from olive skin, alongside oleanolic acid. The effects of this compound in the fight against AIDS are simultaneously being studied in the UGR [http://www.ugr.es] and in Hospital Carlos III in Madrid by a team headed by Prof. Vallejo Nájera.
Maslinic acid innovative properties stem from its powerful protease-inhibition activity, allowing researchers from Granada to register two patents on behalf of the UGR to produce drugs for treatment of diseases caused by protozoa Cryptosporidium – a parasite causing small intestine infection and diarrhoea – and by HIV. The University of Granada has already registered almost ten other patents related to this compound’s properties. Maslinic acid is also a very active compound in opportunistic parasitic infections seriously affecting HIV patients.
In trials carried out by these researchers with the MT2 cell line, for concentrations of 25 and 30 µg/ml maslinic acid inhibited replication of a primary HIV-1 isolate. For 25 µg/ml a decrease in the cytopathic effect and in p24 antigen levels in the supernatant culture medium was detected. For 30 µg/ml, there was total absence of the cytopathic effect and also a decrease of p24 antigen levels.
The UGR Faculty of Sciences hosts a unique maslinic acid production pilot plant where the company MANINVEST S.L. – staffing scientists from the UGR departments of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Parasitology, as well as a coordination economist – is carrying out research on technology implementation and business programmes tuning aimed at making manitol and maslinic and oleanolic acids programmes more profitable.
Whilst manitol is obtained from olive oil waste water (alpechín) and olive-tree leaves, both acids are extracted from dry olive-pomace oil (orujo) produced at the olive-milling stage during olive oil elaboration process.
To this day, only oleanolic acid – produced in China – has been marketed. However, maslinic acid has gained importance as it is not still on the market and has a greater biological activity.
Prof. Andrés García-Granados’s team intends to continue working in the design and implementation of new maslinic acid by-products to fight against HIV, as well as in other innovative research projects financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology and the Andalusian Regional Government.
The World AIDS Day will take place tomorrow, 1st December – it is the international day of action on HIV and AIDS, a disease affecting 39.5 million people all over the world, according to the latest data by UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The number of HIV infected people has decreased from 40.3 millions in 2005 to 39.5 millions in 2006, and new yearly infections have been reduced from 5 millions to 4.3 millions, according to both international organisations.
How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy