Navigation Links
Breathing easy: LSU biochemists offer first 3-D model of asthma-causing inflammation enzyme

BATON ROUGE Inflammation is a healthy response in reaction to potentially harmful presences in the body. But when it starts in the lungs and builds up to a full-fledged asthma attack, it can be downright deadly. Chronic inflammation has been directly associated with heart disease and other physical ailments. But LSU graduate student Nathanial Gilbert and Professor of Biological Sciences Marcia Newcomer, together with Associate Professor Sue Bartlett, have developed the first 3-D model of Human 5-Lipoxygenase, or 5-LOX, the molecule responsible for creating inflammatory compounds that provoke asthma. This model will serve as a target for the design of new, more effective asthma medication.

Their research was printed in Science on Jan. 14 and was the subject of an article in Science Translational Medicine.

"This molecule is responsible for starting the synthesis of compounds referred to as 'signaling molecules,' which cause inflammation," said Newcomer. "If we can look at this molecule in closer detail than we have previously been able to do so, then that will allow for the development of better asthma medications that are able to stop an attack more effectively."

Prior to their development, scientists had been unable to study this molecule in detail because of its transient nature.

"It was really hard to work with," said Newcomer. "5-LOX is unstable. Before you could start your experiments, the enzyme would self-destruct."

The enzyme has an "Achilles' heel," which makes it prone to destabilization. But after working with another, hardier enzyme, Newcomer and her team were able to target the weak area, then bioengineer a replacement. Once they were able to apply this technique to 5-LOX, they were able to identify the complex pathway of how the molecule shuts itself off. The resulting molecule, complete with the engineered "heel," was then tested to verify that the output was precisely the same as its unaltered counterpart, and it was.

"Once we confirmed that it still produced the same thing, we essentially had a machine that makes the inflammatory compound but is stable enough so that we can study it," said Newcomer. "From there, we were able to determine the 3-D structure."

A better understanding of the structure allows for more effective targeting of the enzyme. This, in turn, should lead to fewer side-effects from drugs treating asthma.

"This work has so many implications," said Newcomer. "Our model is an important step toward actual application. The next step is to determine the structure of the machine in action with the substrates it operates on, but we cannot do this in the presence oxygen. This situation requires us to perform research in an oxygen-free environment. That's a tricky proposition, but this has really opened up the possibilities."

All preliminary work was done at CAMD, LSU's Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, by Gilbert, who is pursuing his Ph.D.

"We're excited to be a part of this big step forward in understanding 5-LOX and inflammation," said Newcomer.


Contact: Ashley Berthelot
Louisiana State University

Related medicine news :

1. Mouth breathing can cause major health problems
2. Breathing Obstructions Caused by Sinusitis can Require Surgery, says Denver's Nose Doc
3. Allergy-Linked Mouth Breathing Spells Trouble for Kids
4. Premature Birth Ups Risk of Long-Term Breathing Problems
5. Breathing Exercises May Boost Athletes Performance
6. Questionnaires help dentists screen for sleep-disordered breathing in children
7. Sleep-disordered breathing is common but hard to detect in pediatric patients
8. Study finds a seasonal variance in sleep-disordered breathing in young children
9. Possible link between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease revealed
10. Air Pollution Tied to Breathing Problems in Sleep
11. Wounded Congresswoman Breathing on Her Own: Report
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Tempe Dental Care, a leading Tempe ... and IV sedation dentistry for more than 5 years. A leading cause ... serious and painful if treatment is not timely. , Sedation dentistry ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... California Southern University has named Dr. ... her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the renowned Johns Hopkins University—comes to CalSouthern ... Dr. McLeod’s long and successful nursing practice included a variety of patient care, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... melting invention that helps people in clearing snow away from the streets and driveways. ... at 3.8% per year," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, received the Visionary ... who owns and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, Wyoming, received the ... United States. A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are located worldwide. Every ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... According to an ESPN report published on ... teammate accidentally elbowed him in the left eye during the first day of practice ... of a series of setbacks, including a knee injury that has interfered with his ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Elbit Imaging Ltd. ("EI" or the ... board of directors approved a program to repurchase up to ... H Notes and Series I Notes, which are traded on ... the Company will have a significant preference to the purchase ... to time in the open market on the Tel Aviv ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ) ... "Personalized Medicine, Targeted Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic ... Industry Trends, Technologies, Participants, and Environment" ... ) has announced the addition of ... Companion Diagnostic Market to 2019 - Strategic ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 ... interest from pharmaceutical companies as they look to ... others appear in a new report by  visiongain ... market gains much interest from pharmaceutical companies as ... finding and many others appear in a new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: