Navigation Links
Researchers begin to decipher metabolism of sexual assault drug
Date:11/19/2009

It's a naturally occurring brain chemical with an unwieldy name: 4-hydroxybutyrate (4-HB). Taken by mouth, it can be abused or used as a date-rape drug.

Now, a team of Ohio and Michigan scientists have determined new routes by which 4-HB is metabolized by the body. "This is new and important information," said K. Michael Gibson, professor and chair of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University and a member of the research team. "It may provide new clues on how to counteract the drug's effects, or to enhance its metabolism and decrease toxicity for chronic abusers or victims of sexual assault."

Gibson is co-author with Guo-Fang Zhang and others in the laboratory of Prof. Henri Brunengraber from the Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine of a paper published online today by the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Their findings will appear in as "paper of the week" in the the print edition of the weekly journal on Nov. 27, 2009.

4-HB is a derivative of a major brain neurotransmitter in humans and other species. . It occurs naturally in small amounts in the brains of most animals and humans. In a rare genetic metabolic disorder, 4-HB accumulates in extremely high levels, causing significant developmental delays and seizures.

But 4-HBalso called gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHBis best known and most feared when it is taken orally, because it is a drug that impairs the capacity to exercise judgment, like rohypnol and ketamine hydrochloride.. For that reason, it can be used to facilitate acquaintance sexual assault, commonly called date rape.

Analyzing the chemicals produced by the breakdown of 4-HB in mice and rats, Zhang, Gibson and colleagues used very sophisticated mass spectrometry approaches to identify previously unknown enzymes and pathways that appear to act on 4-HB and other similarly structured compounds. They discovered that 4-HB is metabolized by two different chemical mechanisms or pathways. Their discovery of those pathways should open the door for future studies that can identify the enzymes involved in the following steps of the breakdown of 4-HB.

"This work may help to develop new antidotes and treatments for people who have ingested 4-HB, as well as treatment for children with the rare genetic disorder that causes the compound to accumulate in high levels," Gibson said. (For more information on genetic disorders of 4-HB, see www.pndassoc.org)


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Donovan
jdonovan@mtu.edu
906-487-4521
Michigan Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Texas A&M Researchers Examine How Viruses Destroy Bacteria
2. On your last nerve: NC State researchers advance understanding of stem cells
3. Nutrigenomics researchers replicate gene interaction with saturated fat
4. Researchers gather in the UK to measure the impossible
5. Carnegie Mellon researchers to develop probes to study cellular GPS
6. Escaped proteins add to hearing loss in elderly, UF researchers find
7. Researchers complete draft genome sequence for cassava
8. Tags reveal white sharks have neighborhoods in the north Pacific, say Stanford researchers
9. UCLA researchers reconstitute enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol drug lovastatin
10. First draft of the pig: Researchers sequence swine genome
11. Caltech researchers show efficacy of gene therapy in mouse models of Huntingtons disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers begin to decipher metabolism of sexual assault drug
(Date:3/14/2016)... 14, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) ... --> - Renvoi : image disponible via AP ... --> --> DERMALOG, le leader ... nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des réfugiés ... utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité aux réfugiés. ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its ... San Diego to help identify certain ... States . The test, designed to help determine the ... pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... March 8, 2016   Valencell , the ... announced it has secured $11M in Series D ... a new venture fund being launched by UAE-based ... from existing investors TDF Ventures and WSJ Joshua ... continue its triple-digit growth and accelerate its pioneering ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 NanoStruck Technologies Inc. ... ( Frankfurt : 8NSK) gibt bekannt, ... 13. August 2015 die Genehmigung von der CNSX ... 200.000.000 Einheiten auf 400.000.000 Einheiten zu erhöhen, um ... wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten mit dem ersten Teil der ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD ... Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly a Vice President with US Pharmacopeia, where ... monographs based on analytical methods. NDA Partners Expert Consultants are top tier ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group CEO Benito ... the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In 2004, Ross received ... cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. host disease (GVHD) ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... research report with specific focus on US, EU, ... Japan , to the healthcare business intelligence ... library. Complete report on the Flow ... companies and supported with 282 tables and figures ...
Breaking Biology Technology: