Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effective Imitation

08.03.2010
New chitinase inhibitors

The chitin-degrading enzymes known as chitinases are not just important to insects with chitin shells and to their predators, they also seem to be involved in the establishment of parasites in the human body and in asthmatic diseases.

An international team led by Stephen G. Withers has now developed a novel chitinase inhibitor. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the compound imitates the structure of an intermediate formed in the enzymatic degradation of chitin.

Insects, spiders, scorpions, crabs—many animals have a shell made of chitin. In addition, chitin is found in the cell walls of fungi, dust mites, and various parasites. Chitin is regularly built up and degraded at certain phases in the life cycles of these organisms. Chitin molecules are long chains of nitrogen-containing sugar components, whose degradation is carried out by enzymes in a family known as chitinases. “Chitinase inhibitors are potential insecticides and fungicides,” explains Withers. “They are also interesting as pharmaceuticals. They could stop the transmission of the malaria parasite to humans and help to fight trichomoniasis infections.” Furthermore, there seems to be a connection between asthma and an elevated level of chitinase-like enzymes in the lungs. Chitinase inhibitors may thus have potential for use in asthma treatment.

The team of scientists from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), the University of York (UK), and the State University of New Jersey (USA) has now developed a new group of chitinase inhibitors that are more effective than previous inhibitors. Their synthetic route is relatively simple and is designed to be used on a larger scale as well.

The core structural element is a ring-shaped sugar building block fused with a thiazoline, a five-membered ring made from one nitrogen, one sulfur, and three carbon atoms. “This arrangement imitates a cyclic intermediate formed in the enzymatic degradation of chitin, and docks to the binding sites on chitinase enzymes,” explains Withers. “To augment the inhibitory effect, we added two or three additional sugar units that resemble those in chitin (chitobiose or chitotriose). Further modifications ensure that the inhibitors themselves cannot be degraded, so they remain effective for a long time.” The inhibitors could be a good starting point for the development of novel medications and further research into the role of chitinases in biological systems.

Author: Stephen G. Withers, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada), http://www.chem.ubc.ca/personnel/faculty/withers/

Title: Chitinase Inhibition by Chitobiose and Chitotriose Thiazolines

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.200906644

Stephen G. Withers | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://www.chem.ubc.ca/personnel/faculty/withers/
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Drug discovery: First rational strategy to find molecular glue degraders
03.08.2020 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

nachricht Chlamydia: Greedy for Glutamine
03.08.2020 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

Im Focus: Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties

New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties

The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...

Im Focus: A new method to significantly increase the range and stability of optical tweezers

Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with a team of the V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a method to increase the operation range of optical traps also known

Optical tweezers are a device which uses a laser beam to move micron-sized objects such as living cells, proteins, and molecules. In 2018, the American...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel approach improves graphene-based supercapacitors

03.08.2020 | Information Technology

Germany-wide rainfall measurements by utilizing the mobile network

03.08.2020 | Information Technology

Drug discovery: First rational strategy to find molecular glue degraders

03.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>