"Our compound is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, but also interesting is that it improves motor function in the animals that have been subject to stroke, for example, seen as increased grip strength in the paws of the mice," relates Anders Bach.
Alternative angle to drug development
Previously the development of drugs to combat brain damage resulting from stroke focused on blocking the receptors for signal compounds in the brain, such as glutamate. While this protected the receptor against the danger of overactivation, it unfortunately also influenced the normal vital functions of the receptor, causing unacceptable side effects.
Therefore in recent years there has been increased interest in an alternative strategy where the drug does not influence the receptor directly, but instead acts on the interactions between the receptor and the proteins in the cell. This is an important area of focus for the Chemical Biology research team at the University of Copenhagen:
"Our research is concentrated on disrupting the interaction between the so-called NMDA receptor and the intracellular protein PSD-95. Other scientists have shown interest in the same area one group has developed a particularly interesting compound that is currently undergoing clinical development. However, we have reconsidered the design of the compounds in this area and come up with a new one that is more effective," states Anders Bach.
Detailed understanding of the molecular mechanism
In order to find compounds that can detach the PSD-95 protein from the NMDA receptor, one must have a method for measuring the extent to which the compounds bind to PSD-95.
"We have established a method fluorescence polarisation that has been very successful in helping us develop a
|Contact: Anders Bach|
University of Copenhagen