By allowing lower doses, the new approach could also make the treatment safer by reducing the risk of complications associated with immune system recognition that can sometimes occur with frequent injections, according to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Smaller, more potent doses may even lead to lower prices for the popular wrinkle-remover, the researchers say. Their study is published in the March 29 issue of the weekly Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Although popular for removing wrinkles, Botox is also used to treat a growing number of other conditions, including migraine headaches, lazy eyes and excessive sweating. It is developed from the botulinum neurotoxin, the most lethal poison known and a potential bioterrorist weapon. In a medical setting, small doses of a purified version of the toxin block the release of a chemical (acetylcholine) that signals muscle contraction, resulting in a localized, temporary paralysis that erases wrinkles and unwanted muscle spasms.
Kim Janda, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at Scripps and head of the research study, and his associates developed a synthetic molecule that can ‘superactivate’ the neurotoxin used in Botox by binding to specific sites on the neurotoxin protein. The synthetic molecule works by increasing the activity of an enzyme that cleaves proteins that are critical for neurotransmitter release, thereby increasing the blockage of acetylcholine and enhancing the toxin’s paralyzing effect. In laboratory studies, the researchers found that this ‘superactivator’ could boost the activity of the toxin by as much as 14 times that of the untreated toxin.
The new treatment has not yet been tested in humans or animals, the researchers say. If further studies prove successful, the technique could be available to consumers in four to six years, the researchers estimate.
"We have developed a synthetic molecule that binds to the toxin and increases its normal function," Janda says. "The discovery of small molecule activators may ultimately provide a valuable method for minimizing dosage, reducing resistance, and increasing its clinical efficacy."
One possible complication of Botox injections is that their repeated use can lead to recognition by the immune system, especially when patients are given frequent, high doses of the toxin. Higher doses can also increase the risk of adverse complications, which can include pain in the face, redness at the injection site and muscle weakness. The new ‘superactivator’ formula could allow lower doses to be administered — roughly one-tenth the normal dose — while reducing the possibility of unwanted immune complications, Janda and his associates say. Botox injections should always be performed by a qualified doctor, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences