Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Promising transport molecule for steroid medications discovered

08.11.2016

When the word steroids comes up, a lot of people think of doping. It is much less well known that steroids are used in the treatment of many diseases, such as asthma, neurodermatitis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s Disease. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Jacobs University in Bremen have now found a possible way that steroids can exert their effect in the human body in a gentler and more efficient way.

It is difficult for steroids to dissolve in water, and they require corresponding excipients so that they can be used as medications. These molecules, also called active substance transporters or synthetic hosts, enclose the respective active substance in a cavity and dissolve it in the body. For steroids, it has been primarily cyclodextrins, ring-shaped glucose molecules, which have carried out this task.


Copyright: Jacobs University / Khaleel Assaf

Their disadvantage: They accelerate the dissolution process so much that some people tolerate the taking of steroids poorly. With the cucurbiturils, the scientists from Karlsruhe and Bremen have now identified a very promising transport molecule that can be used to reduce such undesirable side effects.

“We have now found that the host class of cucurbiturils has a higher affinity for the steroids that are decisive for medical use than do the cyclodextrins,” explains Dr. Frank Biedermann, scientist at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at KIT. Cyclodextrins are relatively large molecules, which have a flexible form that on the one hand makes them more adaptable but also causes them to collapse more readily.

In order to achieve the necessary water solubility, therefore, a higher dose of the active substance and excipient is needed. This increases the rate of adverse effects of the corresponding medication. In addition, cyclodextrins have a greater tendency to bond with thinner molecular chains, such as cholesterol, which is not relevant as an active substance.

Based on tests with the hormones testosterone and estradiol, the inflammation inhibitor cortisol, and the muscle relaxants pancuronium and vercuronium, experts have demonstrated that cucurbiturils that contain steroid are substantially more stable and increase the water solubility of their guest molecule more.

In addition, they can function as an active substance depot, because they also remain stable in blood serum and gastric acid and release steroids more slowly in the body. The new host group is biocompatible and can be used in lower doses and more selectively. Consequently, steroid-based drugs could work better, their side effects could be reduced, and the costs of production could drop.

“With the aid of cucurbiturils, it could be possible in the future to develop new and more efficient forms of administration for steroid drugs,” of that Professor Werner Nau, expert in supramolecular chemistry at Jacobs University in Bremen, is convinced.

But, in the estimation of the two scientists, it is not just pharmacology but also basic biological research that can profit from the new active substance transporters. That is because cucurbiturils, in combination with an indicator dye, also make it possible to observe the interaction between steroids and enzymes in real time on their way through the body.

Exploring these varied options for using the molecules in more detail is the goal of follow-up projects at KIT and Jacobs University, which are being subsidized by the German Research Foundation (DFG). “The more precisely we understand the route and the mode of action of the steroids, the more selectively we can discontinue them where they are no longer needed,” explains Nau. In a follow-up study, for example, doctoral researcher Alexandra Irina Lazar is investigating how steroids can be broken down again in the environment after leaving the body.

Questions will be answered by:
Prof. Dr. Werner Nau | Dean, Professor of Chemistry
Tel: +49 421 200-3233 | E-Mail: w.nau@jacobs-university.de

Additional information:
http://www.jacobs-university.de/directory/wnau
Publication of the results: J.Am.Chem.Soc. 2016, 138, 13022-13029.

About Jacobs University:
Jacobs University is a private, independent, English-language university in Bremen. Young people from all over the world study here in preparatory, Bachelor, Master, and PhD programs. Internationality and transdisciplinarity are special features of Jacobs University: research and teaching don’t just pursue a single approach, they address issues from the perspectives of multiple disciplines. This principle makes Jacobs graduates highly sought-after new talents who successfully strike out on international career paths.

Contact:
Kristina Logemann | Brand Management, Marketing & Communications
k.logemann@jacobs-university.de | Tel.: +49 421 200-4454

Kristina Logemann | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The world's tiniest first responders
21.06.2018 | University of Southern California

nachricht A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
21.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>