Navigation Links
Breakthrough research turns the tide on water-borne pathogen
Date:1/25/2008

Waltham, MACryptosporidium parvum is a tiny yet insidious waterborne parasite that wreaks havoc worldwide. This parasite is a major cause of diarrhea and malnutrition in small children in developing countries, and causes severe disease in AIDS and other immune compromised patients in the developed world. Cryptosporidium is resistant to water chlorination and has caused massive outbreaks in the U.S., which has led to the concern that the parasite could be used as a bio-terrorism agent. There are neither vaccines nor effective drugs available to respond to these multiple threats to human health.

In this weeks issue of Chemistry and Biology, researchers at Brandeis University and the University of Georgia report they have identified lead compounds that inhibit Cryptosporidiums parasitic punch, paving the way for an effective antibiotic treatment. In all, scientists identified ten new compounds, four of which are better at fighting Cryptosporidium than the antibiotic paromomycin, the current gold standard for evaluating anticryptosporidial activity.

These are promising new compounds and this research provides an avenue of much needed therapy for this disease, said Brandeis biochemist Lizbeth Hedstrom, whose lab identified the compounds together with parasitologist Boris Striepen of the University of Georgia.

While there are many drugs to treat bacterial infections, it has been very difficult to find drugs against pathogens like Cryptosporidium because the proteins of these parasites are actually very similar to those of their human host. Scientists have been further thwarted because little was known about Cryptosporidium metabolism. This situation recently changed dramatically when genome sequencing provided a genetic blueprint of Cryptosporidium.

In work leading up to the current study, Hedstrom and Striepen used this blueprint to show that Cryptosporidium has a very simple process to produce the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Surprisingly, the researchers also discovered that Cryptosporidium stole a critical gene in this pathway from intestinal bacteria. This unusually large evolutionary divergence between parasite and host proteins provides an unexpected platform for novel drug design.

The stolen bacterial gene encodes a gatekeeper protein, known as IMPDH, which is essential for parasite growth. Hedstrom and her colleagues set out to find compounds that bind to the part of the parasites IMPDH that is most different from human IMPDH. They tested 40,000 compounds using the facilities of the National Screening Laboratory for the Regional Centers of Excellence in BioDefense and Emerging Infectious Disease (NSRB/NERCE) at Harvard Medical School, and identified ten compounds that inhibited the parasite protein, but not the human counterpart. Four of these compounds are effective in stopping Cryptosporidium infection in the laboratory.

The quest to develop drugs to treat this debilitating disease has been almost futile, said Hedstrom. We are still a long way from an actual anticryptosporidial drug, but we are very encouraged by these results.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gardner
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Further breakthroughs for breast cancer patients
2. University of Alberta researchers report breakthrough in lowering bad cholesterol, fatty acid levels
3. Genetic breakthrough offers promise in tackling kidney tumors
4. Medical breakthrough for organ transplants and cardiovascular diseases by Flemish researchers
5. Breakthrough technology observes synapse in real time, supporting theory of vesicular recycling
6. Brain-computer link systems on the brink of breakthrough, study finds
7. Oosight microscope enables embryonic stem cell breakthrough
8. Major genetic breakthrough for ankylosing spondylitis brings treatment hope
9. Male contraception breakthroughs to be presented, Seattle Sept. 27-28
10. Breakthrough research identifies how cells from pigs may cure diabetes
11. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and ... Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... May 16, 2017 , ... ... availability of its new ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenomic deconvolution service. ProxiMeta enables researchers ... or high-molecular-weight DNA extraction—speeding research insights at lower cost. , “We’re very ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... Village, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 16, 2017 ... ... personalized medicine technology and cancer diagnostics, has released its ClearID Lung Cancer blood ... altered in lung cancer, this new test is designed to quickly and accurately ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... (PRWEB) May 16, 2017 , ... ... Chinese Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (CAOS), long-standing development partners Invibio Biomaterial Solutions, ... interbody spine surgery workshop to help expand knowledge of the implantation of ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced that ... “The Key Role of Specifications in Process Validation,” at the Process Validation Summit ... will bring together leaders from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to explore processes, strategies ...
Breaking Biology Technology: