Navigation Links
Key player in detoxification pathway isolated after decades of searching
Date:11/12/2010

Chemical reactions are happening all over the place all the time--on the sun, on the Earth and in our bodies. In many cases, enzymes help make these reactions occur. One family of enzymes, called cytochrome P450s (P450), is important because they help us eliminate toxins.

We know P450s are important to life of all kinds because they have been found in animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, but they are of special interest to humans because they are responsible for metabolism of about 75 percent of known pharmaceuticals.

"The reactions that P450s perform to detoxify a compound are interesting because they activate chemical bonds that are usually not reactive. Chemically speaking, this is a very difficult thing to do in a controlled way," said Michael Green of the department of chemistry at Penn State University. Green and a former student are authors of a paper describing a breakthrough in isolation of P450 compound I, an important chemical intermediate in the process of drug metabolism. This research, supported by the National Science Foundation, appears in the November 12 issue of the journal Science.

In terms of P450s, we humans aren't all the same. One person can be susceptible to poisoning by a toxin or drug more than another based on the levels of the different P450s they have in their liver, lungs and other organs. With such obvious medical and biological importance, these enzymes have been studied in great detail for many years, but exactly how they are able to catalyze these chemical reactions remains to be determined.

At the heart of the problem is P450 compound I. It is a highly reactive chemical species produced by the P450 enzyme to help metabolize a toxin or drug. Because of this extreme reactivity, compound I turns into something else before scientists have a chance to capture it. This has remained a problem for more than 40 years, prompting some to question its very existence.

"This work confirms the existence of compound I, and demonstrates that it can perform the type of chemical reactions for which P450s are known," stated Green. "Now that we can make this chemical species, we can begin to do larger scale studies to understand just how it performs this chemistry."

The research has impact on two major fronts: medicine and basic chemistry. A better understanding of both the biology and chemistry of this family of enzymes will drive research in both fields. Eventually, Green hopes these insights will help chemists understand how to better control the specificity of a given chemical reaction. This knowledge could make production of pharmaceuticals and a variety of commodity chemicals cheaper and more efficient.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa Van Pay
lvanpay@nsf.gov
703-292-8796
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players
2. Concussion Rate in Young Hockey Players Higher Than Thought
3. Artificial Turf Helps Football Players With Agility Drills
4. NFL Players With Concussions Sidelined Longer: Study
5. Study implicates new epigenetic player in mental retardation and facial birth defects
6. MP3 Players Might Harm Hearing
7. Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players
8. Poker Players May Use Drugs to Stay Sharp at the Table
9. Study finds poker players using drugs to enhance performance
10. Human Touch Brand Ambassador and PGA Pro Tim Clark Wins First PGA TOUR Victory at PLAYERS Championship
11. Ankle Braces May Protect Girl Volleyball Players
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... 2016 , ... DDi , a Makro company, makes ... its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has built its solution competency with a ... global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for Clinical Development, Regulatory and Enterprise domains ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of ... Evangeline Parishes. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue ... to seek employment within these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , ... http://www.fdanews.com/cdrhenforcementtrends , As Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn ... 2015 will show what to expect when they come knocking this year. But that takes ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... With a hectic schedule, a demanding job, and no time to decompress, Rabinowitz found ... she dedicated herself to meditation for its impact on her life, implementing a 20-minute-per-day ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The ... Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is a multi-day, ... new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, including coaching skills, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Sequent Medical, Inc. announced today that ... evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the WEB™ Aneurysm ... intracranial aneurysms.  Prof Laurent Spelle , MD, Head ... Paris, France and Principal Investigator of the ... France and Germany.  Although patients with ruptured ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  OMS Supply, a large provider of oral ... today the recent launching of their new company website. ... features that enhance the user experience and enable practitioners ... --> --> Despite the ... that started in early 2016, they have already made ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 - ... in Personalized Medicine and Cancer Therapy. - European ... Diagnostic Testing Markets. - Key Diagnostic Testing Markets. ... Molecular Diagnostics in Genetic Testing. - Molecular Diagnostics ... - Over-the-Counter Diagnostic Products World Markets. - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: