Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of T researchers one step closer to creating oral insulin

29.03.2004


University of Toronto researchers have shown that "designer molecules" can interact with the body’s insulin receptor, a step toward the development of an oral medication for diabetes.



U of T professors Lakshmi Kotra, Cecil Yip, Peter Ottensmeyer and Robert Batey have created the first small molecules using the three-dimensional structure of the insulin receptor. A receptor is the site on the surface of a cell to which molecules with specific tasks, such as hormones, attach themselves. Insulin’s task is to initiate the utilization of sugar in the blood.

"This is the first time that a 3-D model of the insulin receptor on a cell surface has been created and used for drug design," says Kotra, director of U of T’s Molecular Design and Information Technology Centre (MDIT). The study appears in the March 22 issue of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.


The 3-D computer modelling of the receptor and the drug design were conducted at MDIT, a state-of-the-art computer modelling centre with resources for drug design. Researchers then used this knowledge to create specially-designed molecules that bind to the receptor in the same way insulin does. In so doing, they hope to develop a drug similar to insulin that can be taken orally. (Insulin itself must be injected directly into the bloodstream because it is broken down in the stomach if taken orally.)

More than two million Canadians have diabetes, and many of them require regular insulin injections to help their bodies absorb sugar properly. Research has shown self-injection to be a problem for children and the elderly, and lifelong regular injections are not pleasant for patients.

Previous efforts to create oral medications with insulin’s properties have failed, due to inadequate knowledge of the dynamics of the relationship between insulin and its receptor. Since the U of T team now understands this structural relationship, they can work to design novel molecules that mimic insulin’s therapeutic properties.

Other researchers included Ira Goldfine of the University of California, San Francisco, and U of T postdoctoral fellows Christopher Tan and Lianhu Wei. U of T Innovations Foundation is managing the commercialization of this discovery. This research is supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Proof-of-Principle programs.

Elaine Smith | University of Toronto
Further information:
http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin5/040326a.asp

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: 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...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>