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 Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>