Navigation Links
X-ray laser helps slay parasite that causes sleeping sickness
Date:12/5/2012

An international team of scientists, using the world's most powerful X-ray laser, has revealed the three dimensional structure of a key enzyme that enables the single-celled parasite that causes African trypanosomiasis (or sleeping sickness) in humans.

With the elucidation of the 3D structure of the cathepsin B enzyme, it will be possible to design new drugs to inhibit the parasite (Trypanosoma brucei) that causes sleeping sickness, leaving the infected human unharmed.

The research team, including several ASU scientists, is led by the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) scientist Henry Chapman from the Center of Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), professor Christian Betzel from the University of Hamburg and Lars Redecke from the SIAS joint Junior Research Group at the Universities of Hamburg and Lbeck. They report their findings this week in Science.

"This is the first new biological structure solved with a free-electron laser," said Chapman of the development.

"These images of an enzyme, which is a drug target for sleeping sickness, are the first results from our new 'diffract-then-destroy' snapshot X-ray laser method to show new biological structures which have not been seen before," explained John Spence, ASU Regents' Professor of Physics. "The work was led by the DESY group and used the Linac Coherent Light Source at the U.S. Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory."

Transferred to its mammalian host by the bite of the tsetse fly, the effects of the parasite are almost always fatal if treatment is not received. The sleeping sickness parasite threatens more than 60 million people in sub-Saharan Africa and annually kills an estimated 30,000 people. Current drug treatments are not well tolerated, cause serious side effects and the parasites are becoming increasingly drug resistant.

"This paper is so exciting as it is based on nanocrystals grown by the groups at DESY in Hamburg and at the University of Lbeck inside living insect cells," said Petra Fromme, a professor in ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "This is the first novel structure determined by the new method of femtosecond crystallography. The structure may be of great importance for the development of new drugs to fight sleeping sickness, as it shows novel features of the structure of the CatB protein, a protease that is essential for the pathogenesis, including the structure of natural inhibitor peptide bound in the catalytic cleft of the enzyme."

An additional difficulty includes the fact that the cathepsin B enzyme is also found in humans and all mammals. However the discovery of the enzyme's 3D structure has enabled the researchers to pinpoint distinctive structural differences between the human and the parasite's form of the enzyme. Subsequent drug targets can selectively block the parasite's enzyme, leaving the patient's intact.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Green
jenny.green@asu.edu
480-965-1430
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study provides recipe for supercharging atoms with X-ray laser
2. X-rays reveal the self-defence mechanisms of bacteria
3. Low-cost carbon capture gets X-rayed
4. Speed and power of X-ray laser helps unlock molecular mysteries
5. Stanford-SLAC team uses X-ray imaging to observe running batteries in action
6. Dental X-rays linked to common brain tumor
7. CMU and CTC to develop robotic laser system to strip paint from aircraft
8. Laser-powered needle promises pain-free injections
9. The laser beam as a 3-D painter
10. University of Tennessee Space Institute researchers develop laser technology to fight cancer
11. LAMIS -- a green chemistry alternative for laser spectroscopy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
X-ray laser helps slay parasite that causes sleeping sickness
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during ... diseases is the primary factor for the growth of ... report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global ... product, technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Baltimore biotech firm, PathSensors, announced that ... in developing and issuing recommendations to grow Maryland's biohealth industry and position the ... , The recommendations are contained in a report from the ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose is a genetically driven, clinically ... by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose speeds recovery and reduces side ... personalized approach to treatment. , A peer-reviewed and published, 12-week double-blind ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... Malden, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2017 ... ... completed the procedure on April 28, 2017 at the Prince Of Wales Private ... degenerative cervical disc at level C6-C7. The patient failed conservative treatments prior to ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal ... at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior ...
Breaking Biology Technology: