Navigation Links
Zebrafish may help speed drug discovery

AUGUSTA, Ga. Tiny zebrafish just may give scientists one solution to information overload in the search for new drugs therapies.

High throughput screening, which uses robotics and computers to rapidly screen drugs, genes or proteins, to identify, for example, compounds that are best at destroying cancer or restoring insulin-producing cells. The technology has both revolutionized and stymied research, said Dr. Jeffrey Mumm, biologist in the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

While the decade-old technology can screen 100,000 compounds in a day, there is no efficient next step for whittling to a manageable number the resulting say, 2,500 compounds that on first blush appear to have potential. Consequently, drug discovery has actually stalled, creating a scientific "indigestion," Mumm said. Drug failure rates and discovery costs, on the other hand, have escalated.

"The next best thing to do is probably take all the compounds and put them into an animal model that mimics the disease you are trying to cure but nobody has that kind of budget or would know where to start with that number of candidates," Mumm said.

One solution is pairing zebrafish with reporter-based assays that make certain parts glow, according to Mumm's research published in the journal PLoS ONE. He calls it Automated Reporter Quantification.

"It's a way to cut to the chase rather than having to make educated guess about which of the 2,500 compounds are really of interest," said Mumm. Zebrafish, which start out as single cell organisms that are fully functioning by day four, already are an invaluable research model for a wide variety of diseases, such as Mumm's efforts to regenerate cells in the face of degenerative diseases of the eyes or pancreas.

To produce a model of type 1 diabetes, for example, he uses a single drug to destroy insulin-producing cells; 24 hours later, he knows those cells are gone because the glow is gone in the transparent zebrafish.

Now, he can leave the fish in the well plates, which look like plastic ice trays with cubes about the size of pencil tops and come in multiples of 96. The individual wells enable him to quickly reassess the impact of the thousands of compounds identified by high-throughput screening in a living specimen. Simply put: Does the glow come back? The next step becomes logical and doable: study the 20 or so compounds that continued to show promise in a mouse model. These steps to the fish then mouse, called biological validation, have been a real bottleneck in science post high-throughput screening, Mumm said. "This is going to give you much more thorough information about how compounds affect the overall physiology of a living being," Mumm said.

He noted that reporter-based assays number in the thousands so what they can help find is essentially limited only by the imagination.

He's used one to monitor a major signaling pathway that consistently shows up in cancer. "We hooked the pathway up to a reporter that told us whether it was on or off, then tested whether we could modulate it over time and, sure enough, it was very easy to do," Mumm said. "Name the cancer and basically you have WNT activated so there is a huge effort in cancer therapeutics to try and essentially shut it down."

Contact: Toni Baker
Georgia Health Sciences University

Related medicine news :

1. EMBL picture release: Developing zebrafish patchwork
2. Zebrafish popular with researchers
3. Researchers use zebrafish to identify new gene linked to melanoma
4. Alzheimers Foundation of America Applauds Social Security for Speeding Disability Benefits for Early-Onset Alzheimers Disease
5. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
6. USA's Greatest Speed Skater Takes His Medical Practice to the Cutting Edge
7. Keeping up with the neighbors speeds vaccine use
8. Bees see super color at super speed
9. After Teeth Are Pulled, Platelet-Rich Plasma May Speed Healing
10. Nausea and speeding heart can be signs of flu in pregnant women
11. Getting Help with Initial Social Security Disability Application Can Speed Access to Benefits
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Zebrafish may help speed drug discovery
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed ... As people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other ... are being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... a safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he ... effective way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just ... is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, ... price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of 30 ... ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX production. ... Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders ... report to their offering. Boston ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... STOCKHOLM , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att ... av magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med ... tecknat ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för ... kliniska forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: