Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computational tool predicts how drugs work in cells, advancing efforts to design better medicines

10.03.2005


Boston University biomedical engineers, chemists collaborate on novel method



The ability to select and develop compounds that act on specific cellular targets has just gained a computational ally -- a mathematical algorithm that predicts the precise effects a given compound will have on a cell’s molecular components or chemical processes. Using this tool, drug developers can design compounds that will act on only desired gene and protein targets, eliciting therapeutic responses free of unwanted side effects.

The research, which appears in the March 4 issue of Nature Biotechnology, reports on collaborative work by a team of biomedical engineers and chemists at Boston University. The team was led by Tim Gardner, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and its Center for BioDynamics, and James Collins, a professor in BME and co-director of the Center for BioDynamics, and done in collaboration with Scott Schaus and Sean Elliott, assistant professors in BU’s Department of Chemistry and Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development (CMLD).


Although drug development is an active field of research, there have been few ways to predict optimal drug design. The molecular targets of many drug candidates are unknown and are often difficult to tease out from among the thousands of gene products found in a typical organism. This "blindness" in the welter of potential cellular targets means that the process of designing therapeutic drugs is neither precise nor efficient.

The BU research team sought to bring precision and efficiency to this discovery process. The team used a combination of computational and experimental methods to build and verify their tool, first using a reverse-engineering approach to decipher the multitude of regulatory networks operating among genes in a simple organism, then testing the ability of the resulting network models to predict gene and pathway targets for a variety of drug treatments. Finally, they used the tool to predict the molecular targets of a potential new anticancer compound, PTSB, shown in CMLD studies to inhibit growth in the test organism (baker’s yeast) as well as in human small lung carcinoma cells.

Their algorithm predicted, and subsequent experiments verified, that PTSB acted on thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase, findings that not only validate the tool’s capability but could also pave the way to investigations of a potentially new class of therapeutic compounds.

Ann Marie Menting | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bu.edu
http://www.bu.edu/chemistry/
http://www.bu.edu/dbin/bme/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics
19.04.2018 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Full of hot air and proud of it
18.04.2018 | University of Pittsburgh

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Improved stability of plastic light-emitting diodes

19.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics

19.04.2018 | Life Sciences

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>