Showing posts with label Lovastatin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lovastatin. Show all posts

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Common cholesterol-lowering drug may help protect against cerebral malaria

In continuation of my update lovastatin

Researchers have discovered that adding lovastatin, a widely used cholesterol-lowering drug, to traditional antimalarial treatment decreases neuroinflammation and protects against cognitive impairment in a mouse model of cerebral malaria. Although there are differences between mouse models of cerebral malaria and human disease, these new findings indicate that statins are worthy of consideration in clinical trials of cerebral malaria. 


Statins, a class of drugs best known for their ability to lower cholesterol, have also been shown to be active in modulating a variety of immune system responses. In their research, Zimmerman and his Brazilian colleagues evaluated the effect of statins in a mouse model of cerebral malaria. The researchers found that adding a drug called lovastatin to traditional antimalarial therapy prevented cognitive dysfunction in mice infected with cerebral malaria. They discovered that addition of lovastatin decreased white blood cell accumulation and leakiness in blood vessels in the brain. Lovastatin also reduced production of damaging oxygen-containing molecules and other factors that promote inflammation.


"The molecular mechanisms that give rise to cerebral malaria and subsequent cognitive dysfunction are not yet known," says Zimmerman. "However, the fact that statin treatment decreases both injurious blood vessel inflammation and cognitive dysfunction suggests that a combination of vascular and inflammatory triggers leads to cerebral pathology and intellectual deficits."
Ref : http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1003099

Common cholesterol-lowering drug may help protect against cerebral malaria

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lovastatin: A New Weapon Against Plague?

We know that, Lovastatin is a member of the drug class of statins,  used for lowering  cholesterol (hypolipidemic agent) in those with hypercholesterolemia and so preventing cardiovascular disease. Lovastatin is a naturally occurring drug found in food such as oyster mushrooms  and red yeast rice.

Now scientists at the Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (CNRS/Université Aix-Marseille 2), have found that Lovastatin protects animals against the deadly effects of plague.

After inoculating small rodents with the Yersinia pestis bacterium, the team led by Didier Raoult and Michel Drancourt at the URMITE (CNRS/Universit√© Aix-Marseille 2) showed that animals treated with lovastatin presented fewer and less severe infections. Lovastatin therefore has preventive properties against plague mortality in an animal model. This experimental study also reveals that this statin has no direct antibiotic effect against Yersinia pestis but that it prevents the development of septicemia.  

Researchers conclude that Lovastatin had no in-vitro antibiotic effect against Y. pestis. The difference in the mortality between control mice (11/15; 73.5%) and lovastatin-treated mice (3/15; 20%) was significant (P<0.004; Mantel-Haenszel test). Dead mice exhibited Y. pestis septicemia and inflammatory destruction of lung and spleen tissues not seen in lovastatin-treated surviving mice. These data suggest that lovastatin may help prevent the deadly effects of plague, with a caution that field observations are warranted to assess the role of lovastatin in the prophylaxis of human plague....

Ref : http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010928

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lovastatin-synthesizing enzyme successfully reconstituted...


Lovastatin is a member of the drug class of statins, used for lowering cholesterol (hypolipidemic agent) in those with hypercholesterolemia and so preventing cardiovascular disease. Lovastatin is a naturally occurring drug found in food such as oyster mushrooms and red yeast rice. When I was working with a Banglore based company (Biocon), they did try this compound and I think the company is marketing this drug now. As for as my knowledge goes there were two ways to synthesise 'biosynthesis using Dield-Alder catalyzed cyclization' & 'biosyntheis using broadly specific acyltransferase'

Dield-Alder catalysed cyclisation : In vitro formation of a triketide lactone using a genetically-modified protein derived from 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase has been demonstrated. The stereochemistry of the molecule supports the intriguing idea that an enzyme-catalyzed Diels-Alder reaction may occur during assembly of the polyketide chain. It thus appears that biological Diels-Alder reactions may be triggered by generation of reactive triene systems on an enzyme surface.

Biosynthesis using broadly specific acyltransferase : It has been found that a dedicated acyltransferase, LovD, is encoded in the lovastatin biosynthetic pathway. LovD has a broad substrate specificity towards the acyl carrier, the acyl substrate and the decalin acyl acceptor. It efficiently catalyzes the acyl transfer from coenzyme A thoesters or N-acetylcysteamine (SNAC) thioesters to monacolin J. The biosynthesis of lovastatin is coordinated by two iterative type I polyketide syntheses and numerous accessory enzymes. Nonketide, the intermediate biosynthetic precursor of lovastatin, is assembled by the upstream megasynthase LovB (also known as lovastatin nonaketide synthase), enoylreductase LovC, and CYP450 oxygenases.

Recently more interesting out come from a group of UCLA researchers is that, for the first time thy have successfully reconstituted in the laboratory the enzyme responsible for producing the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. As per the claim by the researchers, the lovastatin-synthesizing enzyme is one of the most interesting but least understood of the polyketide synthases, which are found in filamentous fungi and which play a crucial role in the synthesis of "small molecule natural products" — pharmacologically or biologically potent compounds produced by living organisms, many of which are the active ingredients in pharmaceuticals.

This finding is of great significance because commonly used antibiotics, such as tetracycline, are produced by polyketide synthases. Polyketides represent a class of 7,000 known structures, of which more than 20 are commercial drugs, including the immunosuppressant rapamycin, the antibiotic erythromycin and the anticancer drug doxorubicin. In their study studied the enzyme that makes a small-molecule precursor to lovastatin. The real difference about this enzyme, is its extraoridnarily large size in comparison to all other enzymes so for studied. As per the claim by the lead researcher Dr. Yi Tang, "It's one of the largest enzymes ever to be reconstituted in a test tube. It is 10 times the size of most enzymes people study & the enzyme has seven active sites and catalyzes more than 40 different reactions that eventually result in an important precursor to lovastatin. Hope with this remarkable achievement, one can prepare many natural products in the lab in the days to come.

Ref : http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-engineering-researchers-have-111812.aspx