Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Asthma drug from the garden center

14.09.2017

The coralberry could offer new hope for asthmatics: researchers at the University of Bonn have extracted a new kind of active pharmaceutical ingredient from its leaves to combat this widespread respiratory disease. In mice, it almost completely inhibits the characteristic contraction of the airways. The plant itself is not exotic: it can be found in any well-stocked garden center. The study is published in the renowned journal Science Translational Medicine.

The coralberry is no outstanding beauty most of the year. This however changes in the winter months: it then forms striking, bright red berries, which make it a popular ornamental plant during this time.


The leaves of the coralberry (Ardisia crenata) contain the natural substance FR900359.

© Photo: Raphael Reher/Daniela Wenzel/Uni Bonn


Prof. Dr. Daniela Wenzel, Alexander Seidinger, Annika Simon and Dr. Michaela Matthey (from left).

(c) Photo: Katharina Wislsperger/Ukom-UKB

Nevertheless, the scientists involved in the study are interested in the plant for another reason: the leaves of the coralberry contain a substance with the cryptic name FR900359. It is assumed that this could be suitable as a medication against certain diseases, despite the fact that Ardisia crenata (its botanical name) has so far been largely disregarded by science.

Researchers at the Institutes of Physiology I, Pharmaceutical Biology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Bonn, together with asthma specialists from Nottingham (United Kingdom), have now published a study that could change this.

They found that FR900359 is very effective at preventing the bronchial muscles from contracting. Asthmatics regularly suffer from these pronounced contractions preventing adequate ventilation of the lungs. The resulting shortness of breath can be life-threatening.

More effective than common medicines

The new compound relieves these spasms – and is supposedly more effective and has a more prolonged action than the most common asthma drug salbutamol. “However, we have so far only tested the substance in asthmatic mice,” explains junior professor Dr. Daniela Wenzel. Wenzel is doing research in respiratory diseases at the Institute of Physiology I at the University of Bonn; she was the leader of the study.

The idea to test FR900359 came from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology: there, the scientists managed to isolate and characterize the active pharmaceutical substance from the leaves of the coralberry. “This compound inhibits critical signaling molecules in our cells, the Gq proteins,” explains Wenzel. Gq proteins exert key functions in many processes in the body – including control of the airway tone.

Normally, interaction of various signaling pathways induces narrowing of the airways. Inhibition of individual signaling pathways can reduce the contraction of the respiratory tract. However, this does not make it possible to completely prevent such contractions in patients with severe asthma. The various contracting signals converge on Gq proteins and trigger airway spasm. “When we inhibit the activation of Gq proteins with FR900359, we achieve a much greater effect,” emphasizes Dr. Michaela Matthey from the Institute of Physiology I.

This worked exceptionally well in asthmatic mice in the study. “We were able to prevent the animals from reacting to allergens such as house dust mite with a narrowing of the bronchia,” Wenzel is pleased to report. There were hardly any side effects, as the active pharmaceutical ingredient could be applied via inhalation to the respiratory tract and thus only reached the systemic circulation in small quantities.

However, it is not known whether the substance is also suitable for use in people. Although the scientists have already been able to show that human bronchial muscle cells in a petri dish and isolated human airways react in a similarly promising manner, further tests, which could take years, are required prior to its application in people.

Nevertheless, the work is already a great success. This is no coincidence: the German Research Foundation (DFG) funds the research group “G protein signal cascades: creating new pharmaceutical concepts with molecular probes and active pharmaceutical ingredients” at the University of Bonn.

The aim is to pharmaceutically influence central signaling molecules such as the Gq proteins to identify novel substances for the treatment of certain diseases. Physiologists and pharmacists at the University collaborate closely within the research group; the current study is the result of this successful scientific interaction.

Publication: Michaela Matthey, Richard Roberts, Alexander Seidinger, Annika Simon, Ralf Schröder, Markus Kuschak, Suvi Annala, Gabriele M König, Christa E Müller, Ian P Hall, Evi Kostenis, Bernd K Fleischmann, Daniela Wenzel: Targeted inhibition of Gq signaling induces airway relaxation in mouse models of asthma; Science Translational Medicine; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag2288

Contact:

Junior professor Dr. Daniela Wenzel
Institute of Physiology I
Life & Brain Center
Faculty of Medicine
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 (0)228/6885-216
E-mail: dwenzel@uni-bonn.de

Prof. Bernd. K. Fleischmann
Institute of Physiology I
Life & Brain Center
Faculty of Medicine
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 (0)228/6885-200
E-mail: bernd.fleischmann@uni-bonn.de

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de

Further reports about: Asthma Biology Physiology airway proteins respiratory tract signaling molecules

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
21.06.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>