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Heparin prepared synthetically could replace animal-derived drug

nthesized hundreds of milligrams of heparin by developing a large-scale process involving engineered enzymes and co-factor recycling. The new, scaleable process can be applied to synthesize other heparin-based structures that regulate cell growth and may have applications in wound healing or cancer treatment, according to the researchers. The findings were reported Dec. 30, 2005, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in a paper titled "Enzymatic redesigning of biological active heparan sulfate."

The process also can be applied in solid phase synthesis as a tool for screening lead compounds with heparin-like structures for drug discovery, according to the researchers. The findings were published Jan. 13, 2006, in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication in a paper titled "Enzymatic synthesis of heparin related polysaccharides on sensor chips: Rapid screening of heparin-protein interactions."

Linhardt collaborated on the interdisciplinary project with Jian Liu, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Graduate and post-doctoral students involved in the work include: Jinghua Chen (UNC-Chapel Hill), Eva Munoz (Rensselaer), Fikri Avci (Rensselaer), Ding Xu (UNC-Chapel Hill), Melissa Kemp (Rensselaer), and Miao Chen (UNC-Chapel Hill). The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Rensselaer and UNC-Chapel Hill have jointly filed a provisional patent on the process.

Linhardt said additional research will seek to scale the process another million-fold to make it commercially viable.


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Source:Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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