Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media



Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Research Author: Oregon State University Last Updated: Nov 29, 2012 - 7:11:02 AM



Bioengineered Antibiotic Could Lead to Lifesaving Malaria Therapies

By Oregon State University
Apr 28, 2011 - 3:08:36 PM



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust


Email this article
 Printer friendly page
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - CORVALLIS, Ore. – A natural antibiotic long known for its power to fight bacteria, viruses and tumors has recently shown strength against malaria, but its extreme toxicity has impeded its use in medicine.

However, a bioengineering breakthrough has opened a new avenue in the global battle against malaria.

Scientists at Oregon State University have engineered several new versions of the antibiotic pactamycin that are up to 30 times less toxic than the parent compound. The new compounds, whose genetic structures were modified in the lab, retain their potency against malaria-causing parasites yet pose fewer risks to patients.

“The results could lead to a new direction in the discovery and development of drugs against malaria and other life-threatening infections caused by protozoa,” said OSU researcher Taifo Mahmud, an author of the study reported in the journal Chemistry & Biology.

The natural form of pactamycin occurs in soil bacteria. It attacks not only protozoa such as the mosquito-borne P. falciparum, which causes malaria, but also bacteria, viruses and tumors. Unfortunately, it attacks healthy cells in mammals, as well. In an effort to capture pactamycin’s benefits while eliminating or minimizing its detriments, OSU researchers modified the genetic structure of the microbe that produces the antibiotic by inactivating or “knocking out” certain genes. They tested the new versions – called “analogues” – on human colorectal cancer cells.

“The results revealed that the new analogues are significantly less toxic than pactamycin,” said Mahmud, a medicinal chemist in the OSU College of Pharmacy.

Mahmud said the OSU study is a promising development in the struggle against malaria, which annually infects 250 million people and kills nearly 1 million worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

“Although pactamycin was first reported in the 1960s and its various biological activities have been extensively investigated, further development of this compound was hampered by its wide-ranging cytotoxicity,” Mahmud said.

“The study resulted in a number of pactamycin analogues that showed potent antimalarial activity but, in contrast to pactamycin, have reduced cytotoxicity against mammalian cells.”

###

Subscribe to our FREE Ezine and receive current Health News, be eligible for discounted products/services and coupons related to your Health. We publish 24/7.
HealthNewsDigest.com

For advertising/promotion, email: [email protected] Or call toll free: 877- 634-9180


Top of Page

HealthNewsDigest.com

Research
Latest Headlines


+ Depressed? UT Southwestern Researchers Identify New Anti-depressant Mechanisms, Therapeutic Approaches
+ Johns Hopkins Scientists Alter Fat Metabolism in Animals to Prevent Most Common Type of Heart Disease
+ Stanford Launches Center to Strengthen Quality of Scientific Research Worldwide
+ Cardiothoracic Surgeon Launches Research Into Space
+ Severe Schistosomiasis: Progress in Understanding Iimmune Response
+ Understanding Risky Behavior
+ Outpatient Diagnostic Errors Affect 1 in 20 U.S. Adults
+ Multiple Births Don’t Have to be an Inevitable Result of Fertility Treatments
+ Component of I.V. Drips May Reduce Acute Injury to Organs, Including the Heart
+ Best Fish Oil?



Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions