Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McMaster researchers pave the way to new drugs for bone diseases

30.10.2003


Osteocalcin, a small bone-specific protein that influences bone formation, may facilitate the development of drugs to combat bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis and bone metastases of cancer, say McMaster University researchers. Their study is to be published in the October 30 issue of Nature, a high-impact scientific journal.



Although it’s generally accepted that osteocalcin, discovered in 1976, binds to the mineral component of bone, called hydroxyapatite, the biological function and the 3-D structure of the protein have never been known. Now McMaster researchers have unlocked the mystery.

Osteocalcin is used as a biological marker for assessing bone disease and is closely linked to bone turnover, a fine balance between bone resorption and formation which goes on constantly during life.


“The 3-D structure of osteocalcin leads one to believe that the protein is the molecular marker or address of bone,” said biochemistry professor Daniel Yang.

It’s important to know the structure of the proteins because, if cells involved in bone metastasis and other bone diseases use the osteocalcin protein to identify where the bone is and where to attack, it may be possible to modify the structure through new drug therapies so that bone disease or metastasis does not set in.

“This is the result of seven years of hard work,” said Yang. “The crystal structure of osteocalcin provides, for the first time, an atomic model for the bone recognition mechanism of osteocalcin. It also allows us to speculate on the function of osteocalcin.”

Quyen Hoang, who worked on the research as a McMaster PhD student, said the study’s results provide essential tools to rationally design drugs that modulate the activity of osteocalcin and bone turnover.

Additionally, when bound to bone, part of osteocalcin is exposed to act as a magnet to recruit bone-processing cells to the bone surface to carry out bone resorption and formation.

“Based on the results of our study, we have designed some potential bone drugs and we are developing a method to screen for more,” said Hoang.


For more information contact:

Veronica McGuire
Media Relations
McMaster University
Faculty of Health Sciences
(905) 525-9140, ext. 22169
vmcguir@mcmaster.ca

Daniel Yang
Professor, Biochemistry
McMaster University
Faculty of Health Sciences
(905) 525-9140, ext. 22455
yang@mcmaster.ca

Veronica McGuire | McMaster University
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

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'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

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....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

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....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

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...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Reptile vocalization is surprisingly flexible

30.05.2017 | Life Sciences

EU research project DEMETER strives for innovation in enzyme production technology

30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>