A research team has developed the first small molecule that can reversibly activate a key protein involved in balancing sodium levels, paving the way for drugs that can treat low blood pressure and related conditions.
The human epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) controls sodium flow across many tissues such as the lungs, kidneys, and colon, and it is vital to maintaining proper salt balance and blood pressure. Interestingly, while there are available drugs that can block over-active sodium channels, which can help treat hypertension and other disorders, no one has yet found effective ENaC activators.
Now, Bryan Moyer and colleagues managed to identify one, called S3969. In studies with both amphibian and human cells, this molecule could increase sodium flow through normal ENaC and restore function to deficient ENaC.
The sustained yet reversible action of S3969 makes it a good model to build future drugs aimed at improving hypotension, neonatal pulmonary edema (reduced sodium uptake in the lungs can lead to fluid retention), and renal salt wasting disorders.
Nick Zagorski | EurekAlert!
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This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
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A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
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