Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effective Imitation

08.03.2010
New chitinase inhibitors

The chitin-degrading enzymes known as chitinases are not just important to insects with chitin shells and to their predators, they also seem to be involved in the establishment of parasites in the human body and in asthmatic diseases.

An international team led by Stephen G. Withers has now developed a novel chitinase inhibitor. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the compound imitates the structure of an intermediate formed in the enzymatic degradation of chitin.

Insects, spiders, scorpions, crabs—many animals have a shell made of chitin. In addition, chitin is found in the cell walls of fungi, dust mites, and various parasites. Chitin is regularly built up and degraded at certain phases in the life cycles of these organisms. Chitin molecules are long chains of nitrogen-containing sugar components, whose degradation is carried out by enzymes in a family known as chitinases. “Chitinase inhibitors are potential insecticides and fungicides,” explains Withers. “They are also interesting as pharmaceuticals. They could stop the transmission of the malaria parasite to humans and help to fight trichomoniasis infections.” Furthermore, there seems to be a connection between asthma and an elevated level of chitinase-like enzymes in the lungs. Chitinase inhibitors may thus have potential for use in asthma treatment.

The team of scientists from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), the University of York (UK), and the State University of New Jersey (USA) has now developed a new group of chitinase inhibitors that are more effective than previous inhibitors. Their synthetic route is relatively simple and is designed to be used on a larger scale as well.

The core structural element is a ring-shaped sugar building block fused with a thiazoline, a five-membered ring made from one nitrogen, one sulfur, and three carbon atoms. “This arrangement imitates a cyclic intermediate formed in the enzymatic degradation of chitin, and docks to the binding sites on chitinase enzymes,” explains Withers. “To augment the inhibitory effect, we added two or three additional sugar units that resemble those in chitin (chitobiose or chitotriose). Further modifications ensure that the inhibitors themselves cannot be degraded, so they remain effective for a long time.” The inhibitors could be a good starting point for the development of novel medications and further research into the role of chitinases in biological systems.

Author: Stephen G. Withers, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada), http://www.chem.ubc.ca/personnel/faculty/withers/

Title: Chitinase Inhibition by Chitobiose and Chitotriose Thiazolines

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200906644

Stephen G. Withers | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://www.chem.ubc.ca/personnel/faculty/withers/
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>