Navigation Links
Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
Date:9/26/2007

RIVERSIDE, Calif. While prescription medications work successfully to cure an ailment in some people, in others the same dose of the same drug can cause an adverse reaction or no response at all.

According to a research team led by Sean Cutler, an assistant professor of plant cell biology at UC Riverside, such variation in drug responses can be analyzed by studying much simpler organisms like plants.

The genetics behind variable drug responses is not peculiar to humans but exists also in other branches on the tree of life, Cutler said. We can harness simple organisms to understand more about the genetics and biochemistry of variable drug responses, which could help uncover new factors that contribute to variable drug responses in humans.

Study results appear in the Sept. 23 online publication of Nature Chemical Biology.

Focusing on Arabidopsis thaliana, a weedy plant in the mustard family, Cutlers lab discovered a key protein in the plant that creates drug resistance. Called UGT (UDP-glycosyltransferase), the protein is a member of a family of proteins that also affect drug sensitivity in humans.

Similar biochemical processes are affecting drug sensitivity in both plants and animals, said Cutler, who joined UCRs Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and the Center for Plant Cell Biology in January 2007. These similarities suggest that plants can be useful for studying problems of human interest like drug responses.

In their research, Cutler and his research team first screened and tested thousands of drug-like compounds in the lab as they searched for new inhibitors of plant growth. In the process, they discovered a new molecule, called hypostatin, which acts like a drug in inhibiting plant growth in some Arabidopsis plants.

At the same time, the researchers grew Arabidopsis plants in a solution containing hypostatin, which allowed the plant cells to take up hypostatin.

Cutler and his team found that the plants UGT activates hypostatin by adding a sugar molecule to it. They also found that in plants that had a genetically defective UGT, hypostatin did not work properly because no sugar molecules necessary for activating hypostatin were added to it; in such plants, therefore, growth was not affected.

This mechanism is very similar to that seen in humans, where altered drug sensitivity can occur because of defective or atypical sugar-tagging proteins, Cutler said.

His lab made the discovery as part of its ongoing research aimed at identifying and characterizing new bioactive compounds in plants. Next in their research, Cutler and his colleagues plan to expand their search for other sugar-activated molecules, like hypostatin.


'/>"/>

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Quantum Dots Research Leads to New Knowledge about Protein Binding in Plants
2. Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
3. Plants respond similarly to signals from friends, enemies
4. Emory Eye Center Implants Its First Retinal Chips In Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
5. Plants defy Mendels inheritance laws, may prompt textbook changes
6. Antibodies from plants protect against anthrax
7. New RNA polymerase discovered in plants
8. Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show
9. Scientists discover how plants disarm the toxic effects of excessive sunlight
10. Defenseless plants arm themselves with metals
11. At long last, scientists figure out how plants grow
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/24/2016)... Cercacor today introduced Ember TM Sport ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, Perfusion ... in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, using ... to key data about their bodies to help monitor ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When hemoglobin ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... 18, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announced today that it ... to have an independent technology judge determine who has ... high tech/sophisticated telephone calling platform, and the best customer ... do most of what we do – which clearly ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, ... developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, today ... of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock and ... stock at a price to the public of ... to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... /PRNewswire/ -  Equicare Health Inc ., the leading supplier ... one of the top 100 companies in the 2016 ... distinguishes the top digital health companies across the globe. ... this year continually upgrading our product with the ongoing ... team," says Len Grenier , CEO of Equicare ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , 30. November 2016   Merck ... heute die Unterzeichnung einer Reihe von Vereinbarungen ... wird Evotec AG Screeningleistungen für Mercks Palette ... Der Zugriff auf diese Bibliotheken in Kombination ... einen schnelleren Weg zur Ermittlung und Erforschung ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... SSCI, the established leader ... the implications of the latest FDA guidance on pharmaceutical cocrystals as drug substance ... Cambridge, MA. , The event follows the successful November 15th event that ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, ... for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively ... review, the names earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC ...
Breaking Biology Technology: