Navigation Links
Fighting sleeping sickness with X-ray lasers
Date:12/21/2012

This press release is available in German.

Using the world's most powerful X-ray free-electron laser, an international team of researchers, including scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, has obtained new insight into the structure of a medicinally important protein that may serve as a blueprint for the development of drugs to fight sleeping sickness. Science magazine have chosen the experimental study as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of the year.

Sleeping sickness is caused by the unicellular organism Trypanosoma brucei that is transmitted by tsetse flies. The disease kills about 30,000 people word-wide each year. The currently available drugs against the disease are of limited efficacy and can have severe side effects. Moreover, resistance against them is increasing. A promising drug target is the protein Cathepsin B whose enzymatic activity is vital for the parasite's survival. Inhibitors of Cathepsin B need to be highly specific against the trypanosomal variant because it resembles the human form. The featured work provides detailed insight into the structure of trypanosomal Cathepsin B in a natively inhibited form that might serve as a blueprint for the rational design of drugs. The biologically important form of the protein was obtained by a trick: instead of crystallizing the protein in plastic trays in the lab, it was crystallized in vivo in the cells that produced the protein. This approach provides natively modified proteins, but the crystals obtained are tiny.

The use of the X-ray free-electron laser (FEL) at Stanford was essential for the work. Protein structures are typically determined by exposing crystals of the protein to X-rays. Unfortunately, many of the most interesting proteins, such a membrane proteins, do not form crystals of sufficient size for analysis by conventional X-ray sources. Measurements using very tiny crystals have now become feasible thanks to the extreme intensity of FELs whose ultrashort pulse durations outrun most radiation damage effects. It is these properties that allowed structure analysis of the tiny in-vivo grown Cathepsin B crystals. Using a model system, the Heidelberg researchers and their international colleagues had previously validated this new approach using FELs as a tool for structure analysis, an important step in the method development that published in February 2012 in Science. The current featured research demonstrates for the first time FEL use to obtain new biologically important information. The international team shows in detail how the structures of typanosomal and human Cathepsin B differ and how the naturally occurring native inhibitor binds . This may provide new ideas for designing drugs against sleeping sickness.

The team included researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, the Center of Free-Electron Laser Science at Deutschen Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, the Arizona State University, the Universities of Hamburg, Lbeck, Tbingen, Uppsala and Gteborg, the SLAC National Accelerator Center (USA), the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) and the Max Planck Advanced Study Group at the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL).


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Ilme Schlichting
ilme.schlichting@mpimf-heidelberg.mpg.de
49-622-148-6500
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. From a Failed Vaccine, New Insights Into Fighting HIV
2. Doctors Detail High Costs of Fighting Malpractice Claims
3. Soybeans soaked in warm water naturally release key cancer-fighting substance
4. Living longer - variability in infection-fighting genes can be a boon for male survival
5. 2-1-1 could be effective tool in fighting cancer disparities
6. Moffitt researcher, colleagues find success with new immune approach to fighting some cancers
7. Parents Fighting May Have Long-Lasting Effect on Kids
8. Why current strategies for fighting obesity are not working
9. Ordinary chickens may be extraordinary in fighting cancer, says Texas A&M researcher
10. Fighting obesity with thermal imaging
11. Male Ontario students show declines in fighting; females show elevated bullying and mental distress
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fighting sleeping sickness with X-ray lasers
(Date:10/13/2017)... EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and ... educated healthcare professionals on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families ... However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client ... elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many ... event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids ... of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center ... Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to ... awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida Business ... in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ as ... Set to receive his award in October, ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest ... Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey ... notes that the medical device industry is in an ... device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device ... they also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... R.I. , Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... the fields of bioinformatics and immune engineering, ... a protective avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... distantly related to seasonal influenza and presents ... rely on prior exposure to be effective. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: