Since the parasite constantly changes its surface, it can avoid the immune defense of humans and invade the central nervous system, which leads to personality disturbances, sleep disruptions, and ultimately death. For patients affected by a severe T brucei infection in the central nervous system, there are no medicines that can treat both subspecies without incurring extremely serious side effects.
In a project directed by Professor Lars Thelander, scientists have previously discovered that the parasites' CTP synthetase, an enzyme responsible for the production of CTP-one of the four building blocks for mRNA synthesis, a process that is critical for the survival of the parasite-should be a key target for treating the disease.
In the current publication scientists have managed to show that the proper content of acivicin, a well-known cell toxin that has previously been used as a cancer drug, can inhibit the parasite's CTP synthetase, thereby permanently killing the trypanosomes in cell cultures. With daily doses of acivicin, trypanosome-infected mice have also been kept free of symptoms, as opposed to untreated mice that died within a few days.
"The advantage of acivicin is that it has already been used on humans. All the clinical studies have been performed, and we know that the drug can penetrate the central nervous system, which is not the case with many other medicines for trypanosomes. What's more, it can be taken in tablet form, which is extremely important in countries with limited health-care resources," says Artur Fijolek, co-author of the article.
The research team at the Umeå University Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics hopes soon to be able to find the appropriate dosage of acivicin that can permanently cure the infected mice.
"Expression, Purification, Characterization and in Vivo Targeting of Trypanosome CTP Synthetase for Treatment of African Sleeping Sickness," Artur Fijolek, Anders Hofer, and Lars Thelander. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 282, No. 16. pp. 11858-11865, April 20, 2007.
For more information, please contact Artur Fijolek at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: +46 (0)90-786 52 63 or Lars Thelander at e-mail email@example.com or phone: +46 (0)90-786 67 42.
Bertil Born | idw
MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute
Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Event News
19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering