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
New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy