technology-news

Potential drug target for cystic fibrosis identified

Washington, Sept 15 : Researchers have discovered a gene called DGKi as a new target for drug development for cystic fibrosis.


The study by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Regensburg University, both in Germany, and the University of Lisboa, in Portugal, also uncovered a large set of genes not previously linked to the disease, demonstrating how a new screening technique can help identify new drug targets.

In patients with cystic fibrosis, the mutations to CFTR render it unable to carry out its normal tasks. Among other things, this means CFTR loses the ability to control a protein called the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC).

Starting with a list of around 7000 genes, the scientists systematically silenced each one, using a combination of genetics and automated microscopy, and analysed how this affected ENaC.

They found over 700 genes which, when inhibited, brought down ENaC activity, including a number of genes no-one knew were involved in the process. Among their findings was a gene called DGKi. When they tested chemicals that inhibit DGKi in lung cells from cystic fibrosis patients, the scientists discovered that it appears to be a very promising drug target.

"Inhibiting DGKi seems to reverse the effects of cystic fibrosis, but not block ENaC completely. Indeed, inhibiting DGKi reduces ENaC activity enough for cells to go back to normal, but not so much that they cause other problems, like pulmonary oedema," Margarida Amaral from the University of Lisboa said.

These promising results have already raised the interest of the pharmaceutical industry and led the researchers to patent DGKi as a drug target, as they are keen to explore the issue further, searching for molecules that strongly inhibit DGKi without causing side-effects.

The study is published in journal Cell.

--ANI (Posted on 15-09-2013)

technology-news headlines

New groundbreaking technique may help cure diseases by 'editing' DNA

Ancient Antarctica was as warm as today's California coast

Domesticated chili pepper originated in Central-east Mexico

Neanderthals carried more copies of potentially detrimental mutations

'Upside-down planet' reveals new method for studying binary star systems

Learn why homo sapiens survived when others could not

New material prevents plastic from ageing

Know if you are an app addict

Animals with bigger brain size more intelligent

Now, a detector to distinguish 'sour' oil from 'sweet'

UV lamp of the future is here

Shrimp-inspired material to make airplanes stronger

Quick Links: Goa | Munnar | Pondicherry | Free Yearly Horoscope '2014

Comments

Your e-mail:


Your Full Name:


Type verification image:
verification image, type it in the box

Message:

Back to Top