Navigation Links
Discovery first step to new therapies

In an Australian first, scientists at Sydney's Centenary Institute have mapped the anatomy of a membrane protein. This exciting discovery has the potential to turn the way we discover new drugs on its head and reduce the development time for new treatments.

"These membrane proteins are the target for 70% of all therapeutic drugs so an increased understanding of them is vital for future drug discoveries," said Centenary Institute Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas.

Publishing this month in the prestigious international journal, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Dr Mika Jormakka and his colleagues at UNSW, say understanding membrane protein structures will help develop better treatments for some of Australia's biggest killers such as cancer.

Dr Jormakka explains: "The best way to imagine the way we currently discover new drugs is to think of a lock and key. The lock is the membrane protein that causes the body to respond to treatment and the key is the drug."

"Up until recently we have never known what the lock looked like so we have to build thousands of keys (drugs) until we stumble upon one that fits. By mapping membrane proteins we are creating a map of the locks this should make it much easier to design a key that fits."

Work on membrane proteins is still in its infancy, particularly in Australia. Having joined the Centenary Institute last year to head up the new Structural Biology laboratory, Dr Jormakka is widely recognised as a leader in the field.

"It is an exciting time to be working in structural biology as we are still very much at the start of the story," he explains. "There are only around 70 membrane proteins out of a potential 10,000 that have ever been mapped."

"At Centenary, we are now trying to map membrane proteins that are involved in 'pumping' drugs out of cells thereby reducing the effectiveness of cancer chemotherapy agents and antibiotics among other drugs."

"By understanding how these membrane proteins work, we have the potential to eliminate the trial and error nature of patient treatment and to create targeted therapies." Professor Vadas explains Dr Jormakka is working in a complicated scientific field but that his work is critical to improved drug therapies.

"For Dr Jormakka the higher the degree of difficulty the more interested he becomes. He is prepared to investigate very difficult subjects and his success to date is extremely encouraging," says Professor Vadas. "We are proud to have recruited such a talented young scientist to Centenary to lead our new Structural Biology program. We look forward to further scientific advances from him and his team which will have the potential to improve outcomes for patients."


Contact: Erin Sharp
Research Australia

Related medicine news :

1. Discovery of key malaria proteins could mean sticky end for parasite
2. 9/11 Workers Refute Citys Allegation of Discovery Abuse and Malingering
3. Discovery of gene mechanism could bring about new ways to treat metastatic cancer
4. MYSTERY ER Season 2 Takes Viewers Behind the Curtain for Real-Life Medical Mysteries on Discovery Health
5. NIAID creates HIV vaccine discovery branch
6. Could new discovery about a shape-shifting protein lead to a mighty morpheein bacteria fighter?
7. Core Informatics Deploys Core LIMS to Support Antibody Discovery at Fabrus
8. Dynamin drug discovery team win prestigious international epilepsy grant
9. Singapore Is One of the Fastest Growing Bioclusters in Asia; Wave of Investments in Drug Discovery and Translational Research
10. New Molecule Discovery Shows Promise Against Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancers
11. Stem cell discovery sheds light on placenta development
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to support ... as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across ... in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their ... award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners ... with extensive sequencing and genomics experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales ... be responsible for leading the sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or ... protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as vehicle ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: