Novel and efficient inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor identified by Burnham team
A collaborative team of scientists led by The Burnham Institutes Maurizio Pellecchia, Ph.D., has identified inhibitors of the anthrax toxin, termed lethal factor ("LF") that could be developed into an emergency treatment for exposure to inhalation anthrax. These findings will be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Early Edition at the journals website the week of June 20th.
Bacillus anthracis ("anthrax") is a proven agent of biological terrorism. Pulmonary anthrax, in which spores of the anthrax bacteria are inhaled, is typically fatal unless diagnosis is made at an early stage of infection, when antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin can provide a complete cure. At late stages in the disease, antibiotics can kill the anthrax bacteria, but do not affect LF secreted by the bacteria, which is sufficiently concentrated in the bloodstream. LF enters cells and inactivates a human protein called "mitogen-activated protein kinase", or "MAPKK", disrupting the normal signaling pathways of the cell and inducing cell-death.
Nancy Beddingfield | EurekAlert!
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