Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research on cells’ ’power centers’ sheds light on AIDS treatments

10.10.2002


Companies that create HIV-AIDS drugs now have key information that could assist in making new medications with fewer side effects.



Researchers Henry Weiner, a professor of biochemistry at Purdue University, Steven Zollo of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Lauren Wood of the National Cancer Institute, noted the similarity between HIV-AIDS treatment side effects and naturally occurring diseases. Certain HIV-AIDS treatment side effects, such as fat loss and insulin resistance, clinically resemble diseases of the mitochondria, the "power centers" in cells, that affect the functioning of other parts of the cell.

The researchers hypothesized that the drugs to combat HIV infection also might inadvertently affect the functioning of the mitochondria.


"Finding that a drug affects a different target than the one it was designed for is not unusual," said Weiner, an expert on protein processing in the mitochondria. The team speculated that current AIDS treatments using drugs that inhibit HIV proteins also could inhibit a key mitochondrial protein.

This speculation fits the observation by doctors that side effects resembling mitochondrial dysfunction originated after new drugs became part of the standard drug "cocktail" used to treat AIDS patients. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART, has prolonged the lives of many, but also has been associated with side effects such as diabetes, high cholesterol and the development of fatty deposits.

To test the theory that the drugs were inhibiting the mitochondria, the researchers flooded isolated mitochondria with large amounts of the drugs and then measured the levels of processed protein in the mitochondria.

They found that a number of HIV-AIDS drugs can inhibit mitochondrial processing.

Although these findings suggest a possible link between HIV-AIDS drugs and mitochondrial dysfunction, Weiner said he believes that investigating the mitochondria of patients in treatment, or using tissue culture grown in the lab, is the next step.

"That is the only way to determine whether actual patients taking the medication are more than just slightly compromised by the effects of the HIV-AIDS medication on their mitochondria."

In the interim, Weiner said drug companies may find this information useful in efforts to make medications with fewer side effects.

"Drug companies making new AIDS protease inhibitors can take the enzyme we used and screen new potential drugs and select ones that can fight the virus but not damage the mitochondria," he said.

Drug manufacturers may not have made the connection to the mitochondria because the drugs’ effects are minor, Weiner said.

"The protease inhibitors were weak inhibitors of the mitochondria’s enzymatic processing system," he said. "If they were better inhibitors, that would have likely led to more serious complications in patients."

Weiner also sees other possible impacts from the research, such as potential anticancer treatments. He said scientists might find a "good way to kill tumors," by inhibiting specific enzymes within the tumors’ own mitochondria.

The research was published in the September issue of the Journal Mitochondrion. Weiner’s portion of the research was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Contact: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722; forbes@purdue.edu

Source: Henry Weiner, (765) 494-1650; hweiner@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Beth Forbes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu/
http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare find from the deep sea

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

In living color: Brightly-colored bacteria could be used to 'grow' paints and coatings

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Observing and controlling ultrafast processes with attosecond resolution

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>