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

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>