Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New protein target may advance design of HIV and cancer drugs

31.05.2006
Using small molecules containing platinum, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have created a process to inhibit a class of proteins important in HIV and cancer.

The findings may help researchers develop new drugs to fight HIV or cancer by selectively targeting proteins known as zinc fingers.

In the May 30 issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology, researchers reported that a zinc finger protein, known as HIV NCp7, can be inhibited when it is exposed to a platinum complex. They observed that when the HIV NCp7 protein interacts with platinum, the zinc portion of the molecule is ejected from the protein chain. This causes the protein to lose its tertiary structure or overall shape. For these molecules, shape is an important property that enables the protein to carry out certain biological functions.

The process, active site displacement, involved design of a platinum drug with higher affinity for the protein peptide backbone, thus eliminating the zinc from its active site.

In the specific case discussed in the paper, the HIV NCp7 protein is responsible for the proliferation of the HIV virus. If researchers can inhibit the action of this zinc finger protein, they can stop the spread of the virus.

"When we target specific viruses with drugs, over time patients can become resistant to treatment and the drug becomes ineffective. Therefore, novel biological processes and proteins are attractive targets for antiviral drug development," said lead author Nicholas Farrell, Ph.D., professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry at VCU and a member scientist with the VCU Massey Cancer Center.

According to Farrell, these study findings may also one day be applied to the selective targeting of zinc fingers involved in the biological processes responsible for the spread of cancer. By applying the concept to development of anticancer drugs, the researchers hope to design more specific clinical agents with reduced side effects compared to the very useful, but toxic, cisplatin and congeners.

Sathya Achia-Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vcu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

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

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>