Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Newly Discovered Molecule Could Deliver Drugs to Treat Diseases

26.09.2012
Kansas State University researchers have discovered a molecule that may be capable of delivering drugs inside the body to treat diseases.

For the first time, researchers have designed and created a membrane-bounded vesicle formed entirely of peptides -- molecules made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The membrane could serve as a new drug delivery system to safely treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

A study led by John Tomich, professor of biochemistry at Kansas State University, has been published in the journal PLOS ONE in September, and a patent for the discovery is pending.

The peptides are a set of self-assembling branched molecules made up of naturally occurring amino acids. The chemical properties of a peptide create a vesicle that Tomich describes as a bubble: It's made up of a thin membrane and is hollow inside. Created in a water solution, the bubble is filled with water rather than air.

The peptides -- or bubbles -- can be made in a solution containing a drug or other molecule that becomes encapsulated as the peptide assembles, yielding a trapped compound, much like a gelatin capsule holds over-the-counter oral remedies. The peptide vesicles could be delivered to appropriate cells in the body to treat diseases and minimize potential side effects.

"We see this as a new way to deliver any kind of molecule to cells," Tomich said. "We know that in certain diseases subpopulations of cells have gone awry, and we'd like to be able to specifically target them instead of attacking every cell, including healthy ones."

The finding could improve gene therapy, which has the potential to cure diseases by replacing diseased cells with healthy ones. Gene therapy is being tested in clinical trials, but the biggest challenge is how best to deliver the genes.

Methods include cells with a virus being injected into the body, and liposomes -- fatty compounds -- carrying the genes. However, these methods may present some problems.

When a virus is used, the body's immune system can attack the virus or cause a tumor. Lipid-based systems may cause inflammation and may not properly bind to cells.

The peptides created by Kansas State University researchers have advantages over their lipid counterparts. The peptides have improved stability and durability, are easier and quicker to create, and they could be delivered to a specific area in the body.

The peptides can be designed to have the ability to target cells, tissues, tumors or organs, and to encapsulate chemical reagents, antibodies, toxins and inhibitors, Tomich said.

"We don't even begin to know all of the potential applications for this discovery," he said. "We envision that many products could be packaged and delivered using these peptides."

Partial funding for the study came from the Kansas State University Johnson Cancer Research Center, National Institutes of Health and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Kansas State University collaborators include Sushanth Gudlur, May 2012 doctoral graduate in biochemistry, who first published the results in a dissertation; Pinakin Sukthankar, doctoral student in biochemistry; Jian Gao, former postdoctoral fellow in the department of biochemistry; Luz Adriana Avila Flores, graduate research assistant in the department of biochemistry; Yasuaki Hiromasa, research assistant professor of biochemistry; and Jianhan Chen, assistant professor of biochemistry. Takeo Iwamoto from the Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan also was a collaborator.

John Tomich | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University

nachricht When fish swim in the holodeck
22.08.2017 | University of Vienna

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular volume control

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

When fish swim in the holodeck

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>