Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

McMaster researchers pave the way to new drugs for bone diseases

30.10.2003


Osteocalcin, a small bone-specific protein that influences bone formation, may facilitate the development of drugs to combat bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis and bone metastases of cancer, say McMaster University researchers. Their study is to be published in the October 30 issue of Nature, a high-impact scientific journal.



Although it’s generally accepted that osteocalcin, discovered in 1976, binds to the mineral component of bone, called hydroxyapatite, the biological function and the 3-D structure of the protein have never been known. Now McMaster researchers have unlocked the mystery.

Osteocalcin is used as a biological marker for assessing bone disease and is closely linked to bone turnover, a fine balance between bone resorption and formation which goes on constantly during life.


“The 3-D structure of osteocalcin leads one to believe that the protein is the molecular marker or address of bone,” said biochemistry professor Daniel Yang.

It’s important to know the structure of the proteins because, if cells involved in bone metastasis and other bone diseases use the osteocalcin protein to identify where the bone is and where to attack, it may be possible to modify the structure through new drug therapies so that bone disease or metastasis does not set in.

“This is the result of seven years of hard work,” said Yang. “The crystal structure of osteocalcin provides, for the first time, an atomic model for the bone recognition mechanism of osteocalcin. It also allows us to speculate on the function of osteocalcin.”

Quyen Hoang, who worked on the research as a McMaster PhD student, said the study’s results provide essential tools to rationally design drugs that modulate the activity of osteocalcin and bone turnover.

Additionally, when bound to bone, part of osteocalcin is exposed to act as a magnet to recruit bone-processing cells to the bone surface to carry out bone resorption and formation.

“Based on the results of our study, we have designed some potential bone drugs and we are developing a method to screen for more,” said Hoang.


For more information contact:

Veronica McGuire
Media Relations
McMaster University
Faculty of Health Sciences
(905) 525-9140, ext. 22169
vmcguir@mcmaster.ca

Daniel Yang
Professor, Biochemistry
McMaster University
Faculty of Health Sciences
(905) 525-9140, ext. 22455
yang@mcmaster.ca

Veronica McGuire | McMaster University
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>