Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery can make it possible to take more drugs orally

01.12.2003


Many drugs cannot be administered orally since they cannot be taken up by the intestines. All attempts to solve this problem have thus far resulted in unacceptable risks of side-effects, mainly because the intestinal wall is so severely impacted that not only the drug but other substances, including toxins, can be absorbed. Now a team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden have made a major discovery that may solve the problem.



The intestinal wall functions as an effective obstacle to keep various substances from passing from the intestine out into the body. Some drugs, like antibiotics, can use the transport canals that exist, while other important medicines cannot. The porosity of the intestinal wall is determined by a sort of “filter,” so-called “tight junctions,” consisting mainly of two types of proteins: claudins and occludins. Each such protein molecule interacts with a corresponding molecule in the adjacent cell by a loop-shaped bond consisting of peptides. To let more substances pass through, it’s necessary to temporarily increase the porosity of the filter--without damaging the cell. Thus far research has been directed toward changing the porosity via the claudins, which are more dynamic and changeable, but this has always brought with it undesired and irreversible effects that increase the risk of cell damage.

Instead, the Uppsala scientists, led by Professor Per Artursson, have focused on the other protein: the occludins, which are more static proteins. Experiments have been carried out on cells and have yet to be applied to living organisms. They synthesized peptides that correspond to different sequences in the loop that joins the canal between two cells. One of these peptides proved to increase the porosity of the intestinal wall when it was coupled with occludin molecules, but only from one side of the wall. From the other side, corresponding to the one from the intestine out into the body, the molecules proved to lump together or to be destroyed by enzymes before they had time to affect the filter. But the research team went one step further. By adding a fatty acid as a shield for the peptide part, they managed to increase the porosity from the other side as well. What’s more, the scientists succeeded in guiding the effect on the intestinal wall, from rapid and short to a longer lasting impact.


The editorial in the December issue of the prestigious journal Molecular Pharmacology, written by Kim E. Barett of the University of California, commends the findings of the Uppsala team, stating that the discovery “seems likely to allow for the oral delivery of a wide variety of agents for which this previously was not possible, and thus the development of new and more effective therapeutic options for a wide range of human diseases.”

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>