Navigation Links
Pitt pharmacologists go on a molecular fishing trip and hook prize catch
Date:5/2/2010

PITTSBURGH, May 2 Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine went on a molecular fishing trip and netted a catch of new mediators that not only can explain how omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, but also hint at novel treatments for a host of diseases linked to inflammatory processes. Their findings were published today in the online version of Nature Chemical Biology.

There is strong evidence that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as some fish, plant-derived oils and nuts, or taking omega-3s as a dietary supplement reduces inflammation and lowers the risk of illness and death from cardiovascular and other inflammatory diseases, said Bruce A. Freeman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, Pitt School of Medicine, and one of the study's senior authors.

"What has been a provocative question for people familiar with these impressive clinical actions is how omega-3 fatty acids actually induce such beneficial pharmacological effects," he said. "This study has given us fresh and revealing perspective into that process."

In this study, also led by Pitt assistant professor Francisco J. Schopfer, Ph.D., the researchers examined metabolic byproducts of omega-3 fatty acids that are produced by activated macrophages, a type of immune cell that is always present in inflamed tissue, and discovered previously unknown biochemical mediators of inflammation.

Using a small molecule called beta-mercaptoethanol (BME) as a reactive bait, Chiara Cipollina, Ph.D., one of the study's lead authors and a post-doctoral student from Palermo, Italy's Ri.MED Foundation, "hooked" several derivatives of omega-3 fatty acids that were produced by immune cells. These derivatives were chemically modified to become electrophilic fatty acid oxidation products (EFOX), meaning they are attracted to electrons and therefore react with critical molecular targets in many different cell types.

By interacting with certain protein residues that have electrons available for chemical binding, these derivatives stimulate changes in cellular protein function and the genetic expression patterns of cells, resulting in a broad range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses.

The research team found that an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is the molecular target of common drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, mediates the transformation of omega-3 fatty acids into EFOX. Notably, cellular EFOX concentrations were significantly increased in the presence of aspirin, suggesting another mechanism for that drug's beneficial effects.

"There is a lot of evidence that supports minimizing inflammation as a fundamental therapy for many diseases," Dr. Freeman said. "Our new insights help explain in part the multitude of beneficial actions observed for both omega-3 fatty acids and aspirin, and the discovery of this new class of omega-3 fatty acid-derived anti-inflammatory mediators could point drug development activities in new and fruitful directions."

For example, drugs that, like aspirin, enhance the production of EFOX could be of value, or new agents might be synthesized that are able to induce anti-inflammatory signals that are similar to those induced by EFOX, he explained. Drs. Freeman and Schopfer and their drug discovery team now are working on some of these approaches.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New tool helps scientists see molecular signals of eye disease before symptoms arise
2. Lollipops and ice fishing: Molecular rulers used to probe nanopores
3. UT Southwestern researchers identify key molecular step to fighting off viruses
4. Scientists sever molecular signals that prolific parasite uses to puppeteer cells
5. Research pinpoints action of protein linked to key molecular switch
6. Identifying molecular targets for diabetes-related ED
7. Molecular study could push back angiosperm origins
8. U-M researchers solve a molecular mystery in muscle
9. 2010 Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
10. Transforming skin cells into stem cells using a molecular toolkit
11. Scientists discover molecular pathway for organ tissue regeneration and repair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visited ... to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. ... the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could see the ... well as DERMALOGĀ“s multi-biometrics system.   Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or ... individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... England , March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , ... chosen by The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to ... across The Trust. The UK,s leading youth charity will ... social campaign results and get a better understanding of the topics ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... leading supplier of Common Lisp (CL) development tools, and market leader for ... includes key performance enhancements now available within the most effective system for developing ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Dr. Robert ... P.A. , proudly announced today that acclaimed physiatrist Matthew Terzella, MD, has joined ... 15, 2017. , Dr. Terzella completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... denaturation in a cellular milieu; however, the broad application of this cellular target ... platforms with sensitive quantitative readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays are valuable methods for ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... more than a year, Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design ... Carolina. Formaspace CEO Jeff Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey ...
Breaking Biology Technology: