Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Auranofin an arthritis drug as new antibiotic?

Traces of mineral selenium is found in a number of proteins in both bacterial cells and human cells called selenoproteins. Associate Professor William Self's research shows that interrupting the way selenoproteins are made can halt the growth of the super bug Clostridium difficile and Treponema denticola, a major contributor to gum disease.

Infections of Clostridium difficile (C-diff) lead to a wide range of illnesses ranging from severe diarrhea to colitis, which can cause death. It's a life-threatening problem in hospitals and nursing homes worldwide, and the number of cases is on the rise. There are an estimated 500,000 cases per year in the US alone. Between 15,000 to 20,000 people die each year while infected with this superbug. Treponema denticola is one of leading causes of gum disease and costs individuals thousands of dollars in dental care each year.

The significance of the research lies in the fact that, the gold drug Auranofin used to treat arthritis, impacted selenium's metabolism process. The chemical reaction changes the selenium, which prevents bacteria from using it to grow. Auranofin is an FDA-approved gold salt compound that is used to control inflammation and is already known to inhibit the activity of certain selenoproteins. Since certain bacteria, such as C. difficile, require selenoproteins for energy metabolism, the drug acts as a potent antimicrobial halting the growth of the bacteria. The initial studies with C. difficile led to studies with T. denticola, known for several years to require selenium for growth. While testing the gold salt, Self's group also uncovered another surprise; the stannous salts found in many antimicrobial toothpastes in the form of stannous fluoride also inhibited the synthesis of selenoproteins. Previous independent research had already established that stannous salts are more effective at preventing tooth decay and inhibiting growth of T. denticola, but the mechanism of this inhibition of growth was not yet known. These findings could lead to new approaches to preventing gum disease. The out come of the research is really interesting because no one in the earlier days thought of this innovative idea, i.e., to block the metabolism of selenium before as a therapeutic approach. And also this may through some light how "gold salt works for arthritis". Congrats Prof. Self and co workers...

Ref :http://www.springerlink.com/content/g6725k414863446q/?p=1f9d7cac7a4e4867af336327382c16bd&pi=4

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