Saturday, July 31, 2010

Scientists identify new catalytic process to create pharmaceuticals with less chemical waste

Scientists identify new catalytic process to create pharmaceuticals with less chemical waste

I have read about co-operative catalysis (heterogeneous catalysts), but this is something interesting to me..

"Cooperative catalysis by carbens and Lewis acids in a highly stereoselective route to γ-lactams."

Ref : http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.727.html

Friday, July 30, 2010

Valproic Acid Shown to Halt Vision Loss in Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa...


Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) believe, they may have found a new treatment for retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a severe neurodegenerative disease of the retina that ultimately results in blindness. One of the more common retinal degenerative diseases, RP is caused by the death of photoreceptor cells. RP typically manifests in young adulthood as night blindness or a loss of peripheral vision and in many cases progresses to legal blindness by age 40. Dr. Shalesh Kaushal,  chair of ophthalmology and associate professor of ophthalmology and cell biology at UMMS, and his team, describe a potential new therapeutic link between valproic acid and RP, which could have tremendous benefits for patients suffering from the disease. In a retrospective study, valproic acid -  approved by the FDA to reduce seizures, treat migraines and manage bipolar disorder -- appeared to have an effect in halting vision loss in patients with RP and in many cases resulted in an improved field of vision. Results from this study, in conjunction with prior in vitro data, suggest valproic acid may be an effective treatment for photoreceptor loss associated with RP.

UMass Medical School will be the coordinating site for a $2.1 million, three-year clinical trial funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness/National Neurovision Research Institute quantifying the potential of valproic acid as a treatment for RP. The clinical trials will build upon Kaushal's work in the retrospective study in which patients were treated off-label with doses of valproic acid ranging from 500mg to 750mg per day over the course of two to six months. Treated at a time when patients normally experience rapid vision loss as a result of RP, five of the seven patients in the study experienced improvement in their field of vision.
"Inflammation and cell death are key components of RP," said Kaushal. "It appears the valproic acid protects photoreceptor cells from this. If our observations can be further substantiated by randomized clinical trials then low dose valproic acid could have tremendous potential to help the thousands of people suffering from RP."

Dr. Kaushal and colleagues, having previously demonstrated the use of the small molecule, retinoid, as a pharmacological agent capable of increasing the yield of properly folded RP rhodopsins, began screening other small molecules for similar attributes. Because of its already known qualities as a potent inhibitor of the inflammatory response pathway and cell death, valproic acid was believed to have a unique profile making it a potential candidate as a retinal disease treatment...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New tablet for type 2 diabetes sufferers.....


We know that, Vildagliptin (previously identified as LAF237, trade name Galvus) is a new oral anti-hyperglycemic agent (anti-diabetic drug) of the new dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor class of drugs. Vildagliptin inhibits the inactivation of GLP-1 and GIP by DPP-4, allowing GLP-1 and GIP to potentiate the secretion of insulin in the beta cells and suppress glucagon release by the alpha cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Vildagliptin has been shown to reduce hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Novartis has since withdrawn its intent to submit vildagliptin to the FDA, as of July 2008.  The FDA  had demanded additional clinical data before it could approve vildagliptin including extra evidence that skin lesions and kidney impairment seen during an early study on animals have not occurred in human trials.While the drug is still not approved for use in the US, it was approved in Feb 2008 by European Medicines Agency for use within the EU.
Now as per the claim by Prof Greg Fulcher of Director of diabetes services at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital, Galvus, will lower blood sugar effectively without increasing body weight and conclude that this medicine will "significantly increase" the likelihood of diabetes 2 patients reaching blood glucose targets of less than seven per cent (together, the clinical effectiveness and good tolerability of Galvus) and there by reinforce its potential for helping patients with type 2 diabetes and their doctors to better manage this chronic disease. These tablets would be taken once or twice in a day. The details of the treatment are to appear on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from August 1., in Australia.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cytrx’s tamibarotene achieves molecular complete remission in advanced acute promyelocytic leukemia..


CytRx Corporation, announced that a 44-year-old female patient with advanced acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) achieved molecular complete remission with no evidence of disease in the blood cells and/or bone marrow following treatment with CytRx's oncology drug candidate tamibarotene (see structure, an orally active, synthetic retinoid, developed to overcome all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) resistance, with potential antineoplastic activity. As a specific retinoic acid receptor (RAR) alpha/beta agonist, tamibarotene is approximately ten times more potent than ATRA in inducing cell differentiation and apoptosis in HL-60 -human promyelocytic leukemia cell lines in vitro.). 

"This event represents a very significant milestone for CytRx and our drug candidate tamibarotene. Tamibarotene has saved a life and nothing can compare with that," said CytRx President and CEO Steven A. Kriegsman. "These important results indicate that tamibarotene warrants further evaluation as a third-line treatment and in combination as a first-line treatment for APL. We are also considering developing tamibarotene for other cancers as well.

Previously published reports indicate that tamibarotene is 10-times more potent and may be better tolerated than all trans retinoic acid (ATRA). Researchers believe that the combination of tamibarotene and arsenic trioxide (ATO) could produce a complete response rate similar to the ATRA and ATO combination with fewer toxicities such as APL differentiation syndrome.  The company is currently conducting a dose escalation trial combining tamibarotene with ATO as an important step in their ultimate goal of evaluating tamibarotene as a first-line treatment for APL. The company claims that, In addition to maintaining a complete remission six months following the last dose, tamibarotene was also well tolerated. In the CytRx's STAR-1 registration trial, patient was treated with tamibarotene for 56 days at the Department of Biopathology at the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata'. A molecular complete remission in the bone marrow was documented at the end of the treatment period and again six months following the last treatment with tamibarotene...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New evidence that chili pepper ingredient fights fat..


In continuation of my update on Capsaicin may cause weight loss....
In an effort to find out, the scientists lead by Jong Won Yun of of Daegu University, Kyungsan, Korea,  fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to lab rats used to study obesity. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat. The altered proteins work to break down fats.

"These changes provide valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the antiobesity effects of capsaicin the scientists say"...

Through secretion of adipokines into the blood, adipose tissue plays a central role in development of these syndromes. In particular, white adipose tissue (WAT) functions as an energy storage organ through formation of triacylglycerol and release of fatty acids into the bloodstream during a shortage of energy. In association with overnutrition, excess WAT play a major role in obesity and obesity-related disorders through dysregulation of adipokine secretion from WAT. Therefore, inhibition of excess WAT can be an efficient strategy for prevention of obesity and metabolic disorders.

Researchers concludes that, thermogenesis and lipid metabolism related proteins were markedly altered upon capsaicin treatment in WAT, suggesting that capsaicin may be a useful phytochemical for attenuation of obesity....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Phase 3 study: Tapentadol ER lowers incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events..


Tapentadol (see structure) is a new molecular entity that is structurally similar to tramadol (Ultram). It is a centrally-acting analgesic with a dual mode of action as an agonist at the μ-opioid receptor and as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. While its action reflects aspects of tramadol and morphine its ability to kill pain is more on the order of hydrocodone and oxycodone. Interestingly it  has opioid and nonopioid acitivity in a single compound.  Tapentadol is FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. Due to the dual mechanism of action as an opioid agonist and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is potential for off use in chronic pain.
Tapentadol was developed by Grünenthal in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. It is being marketed as immediate release oral tablets of 50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg under the brabd name Nucynta.
A Phase 3 open-label study (by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C), recently published online by Pain Practice, has compared tapentadol extended release (ER) tablets, an investigational pain medication, to an existing prescription pain medication, oxycodone controlled release (CR) tablets.
The study found tapentadol ER was associated with a lower overall incidence of gastrointestinal adverse events than oxycodone CR (tapentadol ER, 52.0 percent; oxycodone CR, 64.1 percent) in patients with chronic knee or hip osteoarthritis pain or chronic low back pain, including: Constipation (tapentadol ER, 22.6 percent; oxycodone CR, 38.6 percent); Nausea (tapentadol ER, 18.1 percent; oxycodone CR, 33.2 percent); and Vomiting (tapentadol ER, 7.0 percent; oxycodone CR, 13.5 percent).
The median duration of treatment was substantially longer with tapentadol ER (268 days) than with oxycodone CR (59 days), and the incidence of overall gastrointestinal treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) leading to study discontinuation was approximately 2.5 times greater in the oxycodone CR group than in the tapentadol ER group (oxycodone CR, 21.5 percent; tapentadol ER, 8.6 percent). In addition, the incidence of constipation leading to study discontinuation was 4.5 times greater in the oxycodone CR group than in the tapentadol ER group (oxycodone CR, 7.2 percent; tapentadol ER, 1.6 percent).
The study also found tapentadol ER provided sustainable relief of moderate to severe chronic knee or hip osteoarthritis pain or chronic low back pain for up to one year. At baseline, mean pain intensity scores in the tapentadol ER and oxycodone CR groups, respectively, were 7.6 and 7.6; at endpoint, they had decreased to 4.4 and 4.
"We are encouraged by these study results as they illustrate the tolerability of tapentadol ER compared with oxycodone CR, a standard chronic pain treatment," said Dr. Bruce Moskovitz, Therapeutic Area Leader for Pain, Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC. "We are pleased about the possibility of bringing this important investigational compound forward to patients in the future."

This study of tapentadol ER examined its long-term safety and tolerability compared to oxycodone CR and the primary objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of twice-daily doses of tapentadol ER (100 to 250 mg) over one year. Patients were randomized in a 4:1 ratio to receive controlled, adjustable, oral, twice-daily doses of tapentadol ER (100-250 mg) or oxycodone HCl CR (20-50 mg) in open-label treatment for up to one year. There were 1,117 patients in the study that received at least one dose of study medication (tapentadol).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

No Firm Conclusions About HDL Cholesterol Can Be Drawn from JUPITER Sub-Analysis

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is concerned that interpretations of a paper about cholesterol, published in the Lancet , could act to deter ongoing research efforts into developing new therapeutic strategies to increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Caution, the ESC experts advise, should be displayed in the interpretation of the results.....


In the Lancet study, Paul Ridker and colleagues, from Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, MA, USA), undertook a retrospective post-hoc analysis of the JUPITER trial. The results show that if a normal, healthy individual has level of low density lipoprotein (LDL), known as "bad cholesterol", substantially lowered with a potent statin, then the level of HDL "good cholesterol" in that person no longer bears any relation to the remaining cardiovascular risk. More.....


Ref : http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2960713-1/fulltext


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Proteasome inhibitor bortezomib inhibits T cell-dependent inflammatory responses - a new hope for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases?


In continuation of my update on Bortezomib, I found this info interesting to share with..
Japanese scientists lead by Dr. Koichi Yanaba, of Department of Dermatology at Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences used mice to show that bortezomib, currently used to treat cancers that affect white blood cells, induces cell death only in harmful (active and proliferating) T cells, leaving the rest unharmed. If the results prove true in humans, it offers hope that this drugs or others similar to it might be used to treat inflammatory diseases without the side effects of current drugs that affect all T cells equally.
To make this discovery, scientists used two groups of mice the first treated with bortezomib and the second with saline. Researchers induced contact hypersensitivity reaction with oxazolone, a chemical allergen used for immunological experiments and found that bortezomib significantly inhibited the contact hypersensitivity responses. Results strongly suggest that bortezomib treatment enhanced T cell death by inhibiting NF-kappa B activation, which plays a key role in regulating the immune response to infection. This in turn led to the suppression of inflammatory responses in immune cells by reducing interferon-gamma production.
"We believe that this new-type remedy for autoimmune and inflammatory disease could successfully treat them in the near future", claims Dr. Koichi Yanaba...

As per the claim by the researchers, bortezomib potently inhibited CHS responses. The attenuation of CHS responses was associated with decreased inflammatory cell infiltration in the challenged skin. Specifically, bortezomib-treated mice showed significantly decreased numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the challenged skin and draining lymph nodes. Cytoplasmic IFN-{gamma} production by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the draining lymph nodes was decreased substantially by bortezomib treatment. Notably, bortezomib enhanced T cell apoptosis by inhibiting NF-{kappa}B activation during CHS responses. Thus, bortezomib treatment is likely to induce T cell death, thereby suppressing CHS responses by reducing IFN-{gamma} production. These findings suggest that bortezomib treatment could be a promising strategy for treating autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How honey kills bacteria..........

We know that, honey has antibiotic activity and has been used specially in burn injuries. Now researchers lead by Dr.Sebastian A.J. Zaat, of Department of Medical Microbiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, have come up with an explanation for this antibiotic activity of honey. This first explanation to explain how honey kills bacteria. Specifically, the research shows that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

"We have completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of a single medical-grade honey, which contributes to the applicability of honey in medicine," said Dr. Sebastian A.J. Zaat...


To make the discovery, Dr. Zaat and colleagues investigated the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey in test tubes against a panel of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. They developed a method to selectively neutralize the known antibacterial factors in honey and determine their individual antibacterial contributions. Ultimately, researchers isolated the defensin-1 protein, which is part of the honey bee immune system and is added by bees to honey. All bacteria tested, including Bacillus subtilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli, ciprofloxacin-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, were killed by 10–20% (v/v) honey, whereas 40% (v/v) of a honey-equivalent sugar solution was required for similar activity.


After analysis, the scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein. This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honey bee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and heartier honey bees.

http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/24/7/2576

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cholesterol's Other Way out ....

Researchers lead by Mark Brown of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, have come up with an interesting finding that is "there is more than one way to get rid of that cholesterol, which can otherwise lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease".

A model of cholesterol loss first proposed way back in the 1920s suggested the existence of a route that didn't rely on bile. And indeed, studies in dogs unable to get cholesterol into bile showed that the animals actually experienced an increase in cholesterol loss. More recent studies in mice showed a similar thing.  Even so, the researchers said that an alternative pathway has largely been ignored. As a result, scientists have made very little progress in defining the molecular pathways and players involved.

Now, Brown and his colleagues offer new evidence that helps support and clarify this alternate path for cholesterol. Researchers report that mice made unable to secrete cholesterol into bile through genetic manipulation or surgery still lose cholesterol through the feces at a normal rate. Macrophages in those animals also continued to take up cholesterol from blood vessels. The researchers believe that alternate path delivers cholesterol from the liver to the intestine directly through the bloodstream.

     "The classic view of reverse cholesterol transport involved the delivery of peripheral cholesterol via HDL to the liver for secretion into bile," the researchers wrote. "In parallel, we believe that the liver also plays a gatekeeper role for nonbiliary fecal sterol loss by repackaging peripheral cholesterol into nascent plasma lipoproteins that are destined for subsequent intestinal delivery."


For the purposes of cholesterol-lowering drug discovery, it may prove fruitful to consider those two pathways as "separate and compel", claims the lead researcher.



Researchers claims that the drugs aimed to increase cholesterol loss without relying on bile will have fewer side effects (an excess of cholesterol in bile can lead to gallstones). Let us be optimistic and hope for the best, in the near future...


Ref : http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131%2810%2900186-5


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Anti-Cancer Effects of Broccoli Ingredient Explained......

In continuation of my update on the dietary benefits of broccoli and how it helps to reduce the cancer risk....

Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Cancer have found that sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli, interacts with cells lacking a gene called PTEN to reduce the chances of prostate cancer developing.

Richard Mithen, from the Institute of Food Research, an institute of BBSRC, worked with a team of researchers on Norwich Research Park, UK, to carry out a series of experiments in human prostate tissue and mouse models of prostate cancer to investigate the interactions between expression of the PTEN gene and the anti cancer activity of sulforaphane.

"PTEN is a tumour suppressor gene, the deletion or inactivation of which can initiate prostate carcinogenesis, and enhance the probability of cancer progression. We've shown here that sulforaphane has different effects depending on whether the PTEN gene is present."


The research team found that in cells which express PTEN, dietary intervention with SF has no effect on the development of cancer. In cells that don't express the gene, however, sulforaphane causes them to become less competitive, providing an explanation of how consuming broccoli can reduce the risk of prostate cancer incidence and progression.


Ref :  http://www.molecular-cancer.com/content/pdf/1476-4598-9-189.pdf

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Predator-released hydrocarbons repel oviposition by a mosquito - nature's insect repellents ?


                                                                   N-Heneicosane 
                                                                    N-Tricosane
Many animals use chemicals to communicate with each other. Pheromones (most of us are familiar with these class of semi-synthetic compounds-used mainly as insect repellents) which influence social and reproductive behaviors within a particular species, are probably the best known and studied. Kairomones are produced by an individual of one species and received by an individual of a different species, with the receiving species often benefiting at the expense of the donor.

Cohen and his Israeli colleagues focused on the interaction between two insect species found in temporary pools of the Mediterranean and the Middle East: larvae of the mosquito C. longiareolata and its predator, the backswimmer N. maculata. When the arriving female mosquitoes detect a chemical emitted by the backswimmer, they are less likely to lay eggs in that pool.
To reproduce conditions of temporary pools in the field, the researchers used aged tap water with fish food added as a source of nutrients. Individual backswimmers were then placed in vials containing samples of the temporary pools, and air samples were collected from the headspace within the vials. The researchers used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze the chemicals emitted by the backswimmers.
Cohen and his colleagues identified two chemicals, hydrocarbons called n-heneicosane and n-tricosane (see structures), which repelled egg-laying by mosquitoes at the concentrations of those compounds found in nature. Together, the two chemicals had an additive effect.
Since the mosquitoes can detect the backswimmer's kairomones from above the water's surface, predator-released kairomones can reduce the mosquito's immediate risk of predation, says Cohen. But they also increase the female mosquito's chance of dying from other causes before she finds a pool safe for her to lay her eggs in.
Researchers conclude that, these newly identified compounds, and others that remain to be discovered, might be effective in controlling populations of disease-carrying insects. It's far too soon to say, but there's the possibility of an advance in the battle against infectious disease.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cashew Seed Extract an Effective Anti-Diabetic ?


Cashew seed extract (hydroethanolic extract) shows promise as an effective anti-diabetic, according to a new study from the University of Montreal (Canada) and the Université de Yaoundé (Cameroun). The investigation analyzed the reputed health benefits of cashew tree products on diabetes, notably whether cashew extracts could improve the body's response to its own insulin.
The researchers claims that hydroethanolic extract of cashew seed (CSE) and its active component, anacardic acid (see structure), stimulated glucose transport into C2C12 myotubes in a concentration-dependent manner. Extracts of other parts (leaves, bark and apple) of cashew plant were inactive. Significant synergistic effect on glucose uptake with insulin was noticed at 100 g/mL CSE. CSE and AA caused activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase in C2C12 myotubes after 6 h of incubation. No significant effect was noticed on Akt and insulin receptor phosphorylation. Both CSE and AA exerted significant uncoupling of succinate-stimulated respiration in rat liver mitochondria.
"Of all the extracts tested (out of leaves, bark, seeds and apples), only cashew seed extract significantly stimulated blood sugar absorption by muscle cells," says senior author Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal's Faculty of Medicine. "Extracts of other plant parts had no such effect, indicating that cashew seed extract likely contains active compounds, which can have potential anti-diabetic properties."

Researchers conclude that, activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase by CSE and AA likely increases plasma membrane glucose transporters, resulting in elevated glucose uptake. In addition, the dysfunction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation may enhance glycolysis and contribute to increased glucose uptake. These results collectively suggest that CSE may be a potential anti-diabetic nutraceutical.
Cashew tree products have long been reported to be effective anti-inflammatory agents, counter high blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance among diabetics. This study validates the traditional use of cashew tree products in diabetes and points to some of its natural components that can serve to create new oral therapies...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Discovery of a Proneurogenic, Neuroprotective Chemical.....

Scientists from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, lead by Dr.Steven McKnight,  have discovered a compound (see structure)  that restores the capacity to form newmemories in aging rats, likely by improving the survival of newborn neurons in the brain's memory hub. The research has turned up clues to a neuroprotective mechanism that could lead to a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
"This neuroprotective compound, called P7C3, holds special promise because of its medication-friendly properties. It can be taken orally, crosses the blood-brain barrier with long-lasting effects, and is safely tolerated by mice during many stages of development." claims Dr.Steven McKnight

In hopes of finding compounds that might protect such vulnerable neurons during this process, Pieper, McKnight and colleagues tested more than 1000 small molecules in living mice. One of the compounds, designated P7C3 (see structure), corrected deficits in the brains of adult mice engineered to lack a gene required for the survival of newborn neurons in the hippocampus. Giving P7C3 to the mice reduced programmed death of newborn cells,  normalizing stunted growth of branch-like neuronal extensions and thickening an abnormally thin layer of cells by 40 percent. Among clues to the mechanism by which P7C3 works, the researchers discovered that it protects the integrity of machinery for maintaining a cell's energy level.

To find out if P7C3 could similarly stem aging-associated neuronal death and cognitive decline, the researchers gave the compound to aged rats. Rodents treated with P7C3 for two months significantly outperformed their placebo-treated peers on a water maze task, a standard assay of hippocampus-dependent learning. This was traced to a three fold higher-than-normal level of newborn neurons in the dentate gyrus of the treated animals. Rats were used instead of mice for this phase of the study because the genetically engineered mice could not swim.
Prolonged treatment of aged rats with P7C3 also enhanced the birth of new neurons. "Aged rats normally show a decline in neurogenesis associated with an inability to form new memories and learn tasks," Pieper explained..

In their study, rats treated with P7C3 each day showed evidence of an increase in the formation of newborn neurons and significant improvements in their ability to swim to the location of a missing platform, s standardized test of larning and memory in rats.

The key to the treatment's success is the protection of newborn neurons, the researchers report. In fact, they explained, the normal process by which newborn neurons are incorporated into the brain as mature cells is a long and perilous one. Notably, they say that two other drugs (Dimebon and Serono compounds) -- both of which bear structural similarities to P7C3 -also encourage the growth of new neurons. It's tempting to think that all three compounds work in the same way the researchers pinpointed a derivative of P7C3, called A20, which is even more protective than the parent compound. They also produced evidence suggesting that two other neuroprotective compounds eyed as possible Alzheimer's cures may work through the same mechanism as P7C3. The A20 derivative proved 300 times more potent than one of these compounds currently in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease. This suggested that even more potent neuroprotective agents could potentially be discovered using the same methods. Following up on these leads, the researchers are now searching for the molecular target of P7C3 -  key to discovering the underlying neuroprotective mechanism.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How Dietary Supplement (Broccoli, Cabbage) May Block Cancer Cells....

In continuation of  how dietary supplement may block cancer cells... In my earlier blogs,  I have mentioned that, natural compound formed during the autolytic breakdown of glucobrassicin present in food plants of the Brassica genus, including broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale) are responsible for the anticancer activity associated with broccoli and other Brassica genus.

Now researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) have discovered how a substance  (see below structure) that is produced when eating broccoli and Brussels sprouts can block the proliferation of cancer cells.

Compelling evidence indicates that the substance, indole-3-carbinol [(above structure, I3C) : Glucobrassicin (right structure) is a type of glucosinolate that can be found in almost all cruciferous plants, such as cabbages  and broccoli, degradation by the enzyme myrosinase is expected to produce an isothiocyanate, indol-3-ylmethylisothiocyanate- which is unstable and hydrlyses to give, I3C, as most dominant degradation product], may have anticancer effects and other health benefits, the researchers say. These findings show how I3C affects cancer cells and normal cells.

The laboratory and animal study discovered a connection between I3C and a molecule called Cdc25A, which is essential for cell division and proliferation. The research showed that I3C causes the destruction of that molecule and thereby blocks the growth of breast cancer cells.

"Cdc25A is present at abnormally high levels in about half of breast cancer cases, and it is associated with a poor prognosis," says study leader Xianghong Zou, assistant professor of pathology at the Ohio State University Medical Center.
For this study, Zou and his colleagues exposed three breast cancer cell lines to I3C. These experiments revealed that the substance caused the destruction of Cdc25A. They also pinpointed a specific location on that molecule that made it susceptible to I3C, showing that if that location is altered (because of a gene mutation), I3C no longer causes the molecule's destruction.

Last, the investigators tested the effectiveness of I3C in breast tumors in a mouse model. When the substance was given orally to the mice, it reduced tumor size by up to 65 percent. They also showed that I3C had no affect on breast-cell tumors in which the Cdc25A molecule had a mutation in that key location.

Ref :  American Association for Cancer Research : Cancer Prevention Research, Xianghong Zou et al.,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Antihypertensive Drugs May Protect Against Alzheimer's Disease....

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that the drug carvedilol (see structure), currently prescribed for the treatment of hypertension, may lessen the degenerative impact of Alzheimer's Disease and promote healthy memory functions.  

"These studies are certainly very exciting, and suggest for the first time that certain antihypertensive drugs already available to the public may independently influence memory functions while reducing degenerative pathological features of the Alzheimer’s disease brain," said study author Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, Saunders Family Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center of Excellence for Novel Approaches to Neurotherapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine....

Dr. Pasinetti’s team found for the first time that carvedilol, a blood pressure lowering agent, is capable of exerting activities that significantly reduce Alzheimer’s disease-type brain and memory degeneration. This benefit was achieved without blood pressure lowering activity in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’s disease brain degeneration and memory impairment.

They also found that carvedilol treatment was capable of promoting memory function, based on assessments of learning new tasks and information and recall of past information, which is already chemically stored in the brain. In the study, one group of mice received carvedilol treatment and the other group did not. The scientists conducted behavioral and learning tests with each group of mice, and determined that it took the mice in the carvedilol significantly less time to remember tasks than the other group.

Ongoing clinical research is in progress to test the benefits of carvedilol, which may prove to be an effective agent in the treatment of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease,   hope they will come out with positive results...

Ref : http://www.j-alz.com/issues/21/vol21-2.html