Navigation Links
Little changes -- large effects
Date:8/30/2013

Scientists at the University of York have discovered that very small chemical changes to dietary flavonoids cause very large effects when the plant natural products are tested for their impact on the human immune system.

Plants are capable of making tens of thousands of different small molecules an average leaf for example, produces around 20,000. Many of these are found in a typical diet and some are already known to have medicinal properties with effects on health, diseases and general well-being.

Now plant biologists and immunologists at York have joined forces to examine a very closely related family of these small molecules (flavonoids) to establish how tiny changes to their chemical structures affect their bio-activity.

The research, published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, has important implications for diet and in the development of new pharmaceuticals from plant natural products.

Researchers from the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) and the Centre for Immunology and Infection (CII) in the University's Department of Biology designed experiments to test the bioactivity of plant-derived flavonoids.

Professor Dianna Bowles, a plant biochemist and founding Director of CNAP, led the research with Professor Paul Kaye, the Director of CII, who developed the robust assay system involving human cells to assess the impacts of the different structures.

Professor Bowles, who referred to the research in a panel discussion on 'Nature's Marvellous Medicines' at the recent Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, said: "We were measuring how flavonoids affected the production of inflammatory mediators by cells stimulated by microbial products. We found that the way in which a flavonoid scaffold was decorated had massive effects on how the cells responded. If a methyl group was attached at one site, there would be no effect; methylate another site, and the cells would produce far greater amounts of these inflammatory mediators. Therefore, the site of attachment on the structural scaffold was all-important in determining the bioactivity of the small molecule.

"Plant products in our diet have immense molecular diversity and consequently also have a huge potential for affecting our health and well being. We are only at the beginning of discovering the multitude of their effects."

Professor Kaye added: "The research demonstrates the level of control that the shape of a molecule can have on its recognition by our immune system cells. This is really important since we can use information such as this to design new drugs for clinical use, as novel immunomodulators, for example".


'/>"/>

Contact: David Garner
david.garner@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-22153
University of York
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genetic secrets of the worlds toughest little bird
2. Solitary lemurs avoid danger with a little help from the neighbors
3. Climate change may have little impact on tropical lizards
4. AACR news: Little molecule makes big difference in bladder cancer metastasis
5. Cell therapy a little more concrete thanks to VIB research
6. Little did we know about beetle diversity: Astonishing 138 new species in a single genus
7. NTU researchers study little mighty creature for scientific breakthrough
8. Chemical fingerprinting tracks the travels of little brown bats
9. Variations of a single gene can lead to too much or too little growth, study shows
10. Changes to symptom structure in DSM-5 support diagnosis of toddlers with autism spectrum disorder
11. Newly discovered bacterial partnership changes ocean chemistry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company ... announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will ... being able to ask questions via voice or text and ... Marketers have long sought an ... consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to ... display is the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed ... ... ... Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Georgia (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... lignin-coated nanocellulose, including both cellulose nanocrystals and cellulose nanofibrils. The composition claims ... There are also claims directed to combination with polymers, carbon fibers, graphene, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company ... and other chronic diseases, announced that Catherine ... Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective today. ... of experience in financial management for a variety ... companies. Most recently, Ms. Bovenizer was the Vice ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... NEW YORK , December 5, 2016 ... Biotech player worldwide, with almost $108 billion of revenue ... around $170 billion were spent on global biopharmaceuticals, and ... 2017. This morning, Stock-Callers.com has lined up these four ... NWBO ), ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... soon resume cervical and lumbar disc production, company President, Jake Lubinski will be ... are implanting the AxioMed disc in Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich to discuss the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: