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 Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | 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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>