Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Einstein researchers find potential new drugs for tuberculosis

27.03.2006
Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have synthesized chemicals that are up to 10 times more effective than isoniazid, the leading anti-tuberculosis drug. The finding could lead to badly needed new drugs for combating tuberculosis bacteria, which each year kill an estimated 2.4 million people worldwide. The study appears in the March issue of Chemistry & Biology.

One of the chemicals, 2-HA, was found to be four times more lethal than isoniazid against the bacteria, while the other, 2-OA, proved 10 times more effective. These chemically similar drugs don’t appear to harm higher organisms, so they could probably be used against TB bacteria without risk to patients.

"Drug-resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis is a worldwide problem, particularly in people with weakened immune systems such as those infected with HIV," notes senior author Dr. William Jacobs, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Einstein, as well as professor of microbiology & immunology and molecular genetics. "So we urgently need to develop new and more effective antituberculosis drugs."

Isoniazid, today’s first-line anti-TB drug, stops TB bacteria from forming mycolic acid, a key building block for their cell walls. It does the job by targeting an enzyme called InhA. Trying to improve upon isoniazid, the Einstein researchers synthesized more than a dozen chemical "decoys" for InhA to latch onto, to prevent the enzyme from catalyzing its normal cell-wall-building reaction. Two of these decoy chemicals, 2-HA and 2-OA, proved much more potent than isoniazid at killing the bacteria--but not in the way the researchers expected.

"We were surprised to find that 2-HA and 2-OA were actually being metabolized in mycobacteria into two different drugs, each of which inhibits a different biochemical pathway," says Dr. Catherine Vilchèze, a study co-author in Dr. Jacobs’ laboratory. "The pathways that they block - fatty acid and mycolic acid synthesis and fatty acid degradation - are essential for bacterial survival, and this combined inhibition had a powerful effect against the microbes. To our knowledge, this is the first example of an antibacterial compound that inhibits several pathways to achieve its effect."

The Einstein researchers are now trying to improve on the potency of 2-HA and 2-OA by synthesizing analogues (chemically similar compounds) to them.

"We’re hopeful that these new compounds will prove even more toxic to TB bacteria and could help usher in a new era of TB therapy," says Dr. Vilchèze.

Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aecom.yu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Research team creates new possibilities for medicine and materials sciences
22.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent
22.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors

22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Radioactivity from oil and gas wastewater persists in Pennsylvania stream sediments

22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent

22.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks Wissenschaft & Forschung
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>