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Scientists hope to end sleeping sickness by making parasite that causes it self-destruct
Date:1/15/2010

"We tested hundreds of compounds as potential 14DM inhibitors. One of them, VNI, was one of the best in terms of killing the parasites that cause sleeping sickness, Chagas and Leishmaniasis," she said.

The team named the inhibitor VNI, short for Vienna Novartis Inhibitor, because it originally was synthesized at the Novartis Research Institute in Vienna. It binds with the worker enzyme, a lot like a piece fits snugly into a jigsaw puzzle, and blocks the enzyme's ability to make the critical sterol.

Lepesheva said having a clear picture of the structure of the enzyme and how VNI fits into it explains why VNI is effective, and it opens the door to structure-based new drug design.


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Contact: Angela Hopp
ahopp@asbmb.org
301-634-7389
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Source:Eurekalert  

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Scientists hope to end sleeping sickness by making parasite that causes it self-destruct
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