Navigation Links
Scientists solve mystery of arsenic compound
Date:10/13/2010

Scientists have solved an important mystery about why an arsenic compound, called arsenite, can kill us, and yet function as an effective therapeutic agent against disease and infections. According to new research published in the October 2010 issue of Genetics (http://www.genetics.org) scientists from Johns Hopkins, Baylor and Stanford discovered that arsenite, a common water contaminant in many parts of the world, affects a special protein folding machine in yeast, called TCP, also present in humans. This information not only opens the doors to developing safer therapeutic alternatives to arsenite-based medicines, but it may allow researchers counter the negative effects of arsenite poisoning.

"By better understanding arsenite, we might be able to protect humans from its hazards in the future," said Jef D. Boeke, Ph.D., co-author of the study from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and The High Throughput Biology Center at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "Arsenite also has beneficial effects, and by focusing on these, we might be able to find safer ways to reap the beneficial effects without the inherent risks involved in using a compound derived from arsenic."

To make this discovery, scientists used advanced genomic tools and biochemical experiments to show that arsenic disturbs functions of the machinery (chaperonin complex) required for proper folding and maturation of several proteins and protein complexes within yeast cells. This mechanism of action by arsenic is not unique to yeast, as it has been shown to exist in a range of organisms from bacteria to mammals.

"As the human population grows, freshwater supplies become increasingly precious, but unfortunately some of this water has been contaminated with arsenite," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics. "The more we learn about how this compound affects our bodies, the more we'll eventually be able to counter its deadly effects. In addition, we know that under certain controlled doses, arsenite has therapeutic value. This research hopefully gets us closer to a new generation of drugs that achieve maximum benefit with minimum risk."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gladstone scientists link hepatitis C virus infection to fat enzyme in liver cells
2. Scientists watch cell-shape process for first time
3. Studying illnesses caused by worms: Scientists are learning how immune cells communicate
4. Scientists trick bacteria with small molecules
5. DFG awards 4 young scientists 2010 Bernd Rendel Prize
6. Scripps Research scientists develop novel test that identifies river blindness
7. AgriLife Research scientists complete two-year study on short-day onions
8. MBL scientists reveal findings of World Ocean Microbe Census
9. Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds
10. NOAA-sponsored scientists first to map offshore San Andreas Fault and associated ecosystems
11. Scripps Research scientists win $65 million in new grants to reveal form and function of proteins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance ... the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... Dollar project, for the , Supply and Delivery ... IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing ...  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case ... Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer ... could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: