Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gene-regulating enzyme is also a target for anti-depressive drugs

Anti-cancer possibilities seen for certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors

In 2005, professor Ramin Shiekhattar, Ph.D., at The Wistar Institute and his colleagues reported details about an enzyme involved in appropriately repressing sets of neuronal genes in non-neuronal cells.

At the time, the scientists noted that the enzyme appeared to fit into the same extended enzyme family that includes monoamine oxidases, psychoactive enzymes that oxidize dopamine and norepinephrin. Inhibitors of these enzymes have long been used to treat depression, certain other psychiatric and emotional disorders, and Parkinson's disease.

Now, in a study published online today in the June 26 issue of Chemistry & Biology, Shiekhattar and his team show that the enzyme is itself a target for certain monoamine oxidase inhibitors used to treat depression. One member of this family of drugs in particular, called tranylcypromine (brand name Parnate®, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline), was seen to inhibit the enzyme most strongly. The findings suggest that these anti-depressive drugs may have additional applications in other medically relevant areas.

For example, Shiekhattar notes that the enzyme studied exists in a complex with another type of gene-regulating enzyme that has been implicated in the development of cancer. Inhibitors of that second enzyme are currently in clinical trails as cancer therapies.

"Might particular monoamine oxidase inhibitors, currently used primarily to treat depression, have anti-cancer activity too?" Shiekhattar says. "Our findings indicate this could be the case, and we are currently screening these drugs against many different types of cancer to answer that question."

Because the primary role of the enzyme is to repress sets of related genes, many other areas of potential influence for the monoamine oxidase inhibitors are possible too, according to Shiekhattar. At the very least, he says, the drugs will likely prove to be useful laboratory tools for answering fundamental questions about genetic expression.

The enzyme in question is called BHC110/LSD1, and it was the first human histone demethylase identified. The enzyme's function is to remove methyl groups from small molecules called histones to modify them in ways that trigger gene repression. The second enzyme found in complex with BHC110/LSD1, acts in a similar way. Called a deacetylase, this enzyme removes acetyl groups from histones to repress gene expression.

In the body's scheme for safely storing genes away until needed, DNA is tightly looped around the histones, kept secure by enzymes similar to the ones studied by the Wistar team until made accessible by the activity of other enzymes responsible for gene expression. Eight histones comprise a nucleosome, and long strings of nucleosomes coil in turn into chromatin, the basic material of chromosomes.

Franklin Hoke | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>