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:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present ... the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information ... we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of ... loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events ... Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the ... The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & ... by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of ... will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy ... Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices in ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by sharing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza ... Care is helping communities across Massachusetts , ... no-cost* flu shots through the end of the month. *Some ... ... flu shot is by the end of October, according to the Centers ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Halo Labs announces the European launch of their new low volume, ... 2017 in Cambridge, U.K on October 4th. ... samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using far less sample ... ... system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... CAESAREA, Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. ... company with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its ... today. Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz ... ... ninth season this month. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: