Navigation Links
UNC scientists teach enzyme to make synthetic heparin in more varieties
Date:11/25/2008

CHAPEL HILL Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have learned to customize a key human enzyme responsible for producing heparin, opening the door to a more effective synthetic anticoagulant as well as treatments for other conditions.

Jian Liu, Ph.D., and colleagues at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have learned to modify the enzyme heparan sulfate 2-O-sulfotransferase, which produces heparin in the human body in addition to other heparin-like molecules. By modifying 2-O-sulfotransferase, researchers will be able to create customized forms of synthetic heparin with different properties.

"Previously it was nearly impossible to change the nature of the heparin generated by the enzyme," said Liu, associate professor in the school's medicinal chemistry and natural products division. "The degree of difficulty was 10-plus. Now it's more like a two or three, which opens the door to the possibility of improving on the natural product."

Heparin is produced naturally by many creatures, including humans. As a drug, it is a common anticoagulant derived mainly from the intestinal lining of pigs. The manufactured form of the substance is most often used during and after procedures such as kidney dialysis, heart bypass surgery, stent implantation, indwelling catheters, and knee and hip replacements to prevent clots from blocking or restricting the flow of blood. The annual worldwide sales of heparin are estimated at $3 billion.

The drug was in the spotlight earlier this year when more than 80 people died and hundreds of others suffered adverse reactions to it, leading to recalls of the drug in countries around the world. Authorities linked the problems to a contaminant in raw natural heparin made from pigs in China. A synthetic version of the drug that can be produced in controlled conditions is key to preventing a recurrence of that tragedy, Liu said.

"The pig stuff has served us well for 50 years and is very inexpensive, but if we cannot control the supply chain, we cannot ensure the safety of the drug," Liu said. "I am working for the day when synthetic heparin can be brewed in large laboratories at a low cost."

There is also interest in heparin as a treatment for small-cell lung cancer, Liu said. Being able to produce customized versions of the heparin molecule using 2-O-sulfotransferase would allow researchers to emphasize the drug's potential anti-cancer properties. Heparin-like structures have also shown potential as treatments for arthritis, asthma and transplant rejection, among other conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Patric Lane
patric_lane@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childrens Hospital scientists achieve repair of injured heart muscle in lab tests of stem cells
2. Scientists shed light on evolution of gene regulation
3. Scientists build roach motel for nasty bugs of the bacterial variety
4. Scripps Research scientists shed light on how DNA is unwound so that its code can be read
5. Scientists present moving theory behind bacterial decision-making
6. Penn scientists discover cells reorganize shape to fit the situation
7. Scientists discover 21st century plague
8. Bipolar disorder genes, pathways identified by Indiana University neuroscientists
9. Scripps research scientists identify blood component that turns bacteria virulent
10. Barrow scientists solve 200-year-old scientific debate involving visual illusions
11. Scientists find facial scars increase attractiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys Corporation ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its biometric ... San Diego to help identify certain non-U.S. ... . The test, designed to help determine the efficiency ... environment, began in February and will run until May 2016. ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... MONTEREY, Calif. , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, ... in the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership ... Industry Leadership. This is the 9 th year ... select group of companies and individuals from past ... nominations based on a pre-described set of criteria, by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... British Columbia , April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... oder "NanoStruck") (CSE: NSK) (OTCPink: NSKQB) ( ... im Anschluss an ihre Pressemitteilung vom 13. August ... erhalten hat, ihre Finanzen um zusätzliche 200.000.000 Einheiten ... 4.000.000 Kanadische Dollar zu bringen. Davon wurden 157.900.000 ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in ... pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 MedDay, a ... today announces the appointment of Catherine Moukheibir as Chairman of ... previous Chairman, Jean Jacques Garaud , who contributed to ... is effective immediately. Catherine started her career in ... and London .  She held C-Suite ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... ... The European Patent Office (EPO) today announced that U.S. Biophysicist ... Inventor Award 2016 in the category "Non-European countries." The winners of the 11th edition ... on June 9th. , The human capacity to walk with fluidity is the sum ...
Breaking Biology Technology: