Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Gateway enzyme for chemicals from catnip to cancer drug

November 26, 2012

Scientists have discovered an enzyme used in nature to make powerful chemicals from catnip to a cancer drug, vinblastine. The discovery opens up the prospect of producing these chemicals cheaply and efficiently.

They are produced naturally by some plants such as the medicinal Madagascar periwinkle, but faster-growing plants could be used to produce them. With synthetic biology, improvements could also be made to them.

The study, to be published in Nature on Thursday, was led by scientists from the John Innes Centre, an institute on Norwich Research Park strategically funded by BBSRC.

"Thousands of chemicals are derived from the enzyme we have called iridoid synthase," says senior author Dr Sarah O'Connor from the JIC and the University of East Anglia.

"We can start to use it to come up with new-to-nature structures with biological activity of benefit to both medicine and agriculture."

Many aphids, often important agricultural pests, produce sex pheromone chemicals that are identical to or that closely resemble the iridoid synthase product. Strategic use of these iridoid chemicals could be used to disrupt the aphids' breeding cycle or to repel them from crops.

The anticancer ingredient vinblastine sulphate is currently derived from the Madagascar periwinkle plant. The iridoid synthase is an essential step in the production of this compound. But vinblastine is produced in just very low levels and the drug has many side effects. The hope is to find a way to produce it more cheaply, easily and with a chemical structure that lessens side effects.

"We need to identify more enzymes to see the entire pathway used in nature to make this potent compound," said Dr O'Connor.

"But the enzyme we have discovered is also the basic scaffold for many other iridoid chemicals and we can start to experiment with building new chemical structures with biological activity."

The backbone of all iridoids consists of two fused rings and scientists have been trying to track down what makes this ring system. Experiments showed that iridoid synthase is the enzyme responsible.

Scientists already knew the enzyme preceeding iridoid synthase and how the gene encoding it is expressed. The lead author, Dr Fernando Geu-Flores from JIC, therefore looked for enzymes that are encoded by genes expressed in a similar way and narrowed down their search to 20 enzymes.

Research published in the 1980s indicated that the missing enzyme is dependent on a particular compound called NADPH, which narrowed the search down to two enzymes.

O'Connor and her co-workers will also investigate whether the enzyme is important in a simple chemical reaction used by chemists for nearly 100 years. Scientists are trying to identify which enzymes catalyse a reaction called the Diels-Alder reaction, named after the Nobel prize-winning scientists who discovered it. A better understanding of how the iridoid synthase works could open up new ways to make pharmaceutical compounds using synthetic biology.

Norwich BioScience Institutes


Related Enzyme Current Events and Enzyme News Articles


Maternal inflammation boosts serotonin and impairs fetal brain development in mice
Fighting the flu during pregnancy sickens a pregnant woman, but it may also put the fetus at a slightly increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism later in life.

New class of protein could treat cancer and other diseases, study finds
A protein designed by researchers at Georgia State University can effectively target a cell surface receptor linked to a number of diseases, showing potential as a therapeutic treatment for an array of illnesses, including cancer, according to the research team.

Mouse study links heart regeneration to telomere length
Researchers at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research have discovered that the ends of heart muscle cell chromosomes rapidly erode after birth, limiting the cells' ability to proliferate and replace damaged heart tissue.

Identification of the action mechanism of a protein impacting neural circuit development
Research by Dr. Shernaz Bamji, from the University of British Columbia, uncovers the mechanism of action of an enzyme called DHHC9 in the normal development and function of neural networks in the brain.

Scripps Florida scientists show commonly prescribed painkiller slows cancer growth
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that one of the most widely prescribed pain and anti-inflammation drugs slows the growth rate of a specific kind of cancer in animal models and suggests the medication could have the same effect on other types of tumors.

Scientists capture the elusive structure of essential digestive enzyme
Using a powerful combination of techniques from biophysics to mathematics, researchers have revealed new insights into the mechanism of a liver enzyme that is critical for human health.

New tools to manipulate biology
Chemistry has provided many key tools and techniques to the biological community in the last twenty years. We can now make proteins that Mother Nature never thought of, image unique parts of live cells and even see cells in live animals.

End of the road for aliskiren in heart failure
A subgroup analysis in heart failure patients with diabetes from the ATMOSPHERE trial has failed to show benefit and signals the end of the road for aliskiren in heart failure.

New study captures ultrafast motion of proteins
A new study by an international team of researchers, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has announced that they have succeeded for the first time in observing the structural changes in carbonic anhydrase.

A single enzyme with the power of three could offer shortcut to therapeutic target
Researchers identified a single enzyme doing the work of a trio thought necessary to control a common cellular signaling process being pursued as a therapeutic target.
More Enzyme Current Events and Enzyme News Articles

The Enzyme Factor

The Enzyme Factor
by Hiromi Shinya MD (Author)


In The Enzyme Factor, Dr. Hiromi Shinya presents his research, grounded in his 45 years of medical practice in the United States and Japan. This research supports the idea of a miracle enzyme out of which all the enzymes the body needs are produced. He suggests cancer and other diseases occur when this key enzyme is depleted and cannot properly do its job. In this book he clearly shows how what we eat affects that key. Dr. Shinya's science is clearly explained and easy to understand. The suggestions for diet and lifestyle based on this science are simple and easy to follow. Even those who think they know everything about how to eat right will be surprised when they discover what is really healthy.



This simple health regime has led hundreds of his patients, many suffering...

The Enzyme Advantage: For Health Care Providers And People Who Care About Their Health

The Enzyme Advantage: For Health Care Providers And People Who Care About Their Health
by Dr. Howard F Loomis Jr. (Author), Arnold Mann (Author)


Why should you care about food enzymes? This newly-released book includes the answer to that question- as well as how to identify protein, carbohydrate and fat deficiency in yourself and/or your patients. The “Father of Enzyme Nutrition,” Dr. Howard F. Loomis, Jr., has co-authored this book with respected medical journalist Arnold Mann. “Dr. Loomis’ knowledge of enzymes and their diverse functions is truly amazing. It is from the recognition and application of these insights that Dr. Loomis has achieved such an effective tool for acquiring individual wellness.” ~Gary Hayes, M.D. “Dr. Loomis has written a very important book for any healthcare practitioner who wants to enhance his or her knowledge and abilities as a healer; and for any consumer of healthcare who wants to...

Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes: A Simple Guide to Using Enzymes to Treat Everything from Digestive Problems and Allergies to Migraines and Arthritis

Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes: A Simple Guide to Using Enzymes to Treat Everything from Digestive Problems and Allergies to Migraines and Arthritis
by Tom Bohager (Author)


We all know that better health doesn't come from one magical, cure-all pill. But what you should know is that it can come from readily available, over-the-counter enzyme supplements. Tom Bohager's Everything You Need to Know About Enzymes offers simple, natural methods for improving your health dramatically without dramatic changes in lifestyle. Bohager's quick course explains how to use enzymes for general god health and to treat specific ailments. As health care costs in the United States soar, more and more people are interested in improving their health through safe, affordable, noninvasive, nonprescription remedies. Enzymes in particular are gaining popularity because of their proven effectiveness and ease of use. For readers interested in improving digestion, strengthening the...

The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy: A Complete and Up-to-Date Reference to Effective Remedies

The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy: A Complete and Up-to-Date Reference to Effective Remedies
by Anthony J. Cichoke (Author)


The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy gives a clear picture of enzymes -what they are, what they do, and how they can be depleted in the body. It then explains how you can begin an enzyme-rich diet, and when, why, and how enzyme supplements may be taken. Also provided are enzyme treatments for more than 150 conditions.

Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions (Updated Third Edition)

Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions (Updated Third Edition)
by Karen DeFelice (Author)


Enzyme therapy is one of the fastest emerging successful alternatives for people on the autism spectrum as well as other neurological conditions. Reports of significant improvement in health, pain reduction, language, food tolerance, socializing and other benefits emerge daily. Drawing on long-standing scientific research and trials by a wide range of families, Karen DeFelice deals comprehensively with all the information on enzymes that parents or those new to enzymes need: how enzymes work, who may benefit, what to expect, practical tested advice on selecting and introducing the right kind of enzymes, and how this can be combined with other approaches and therapies.

The Enzyme Cure: How Plant Enzymes Can Help You Relieve 36 Health Problems (Natural Solutions' Magazine Guides)

The Enzyme Cure: How Plant Enzymes Can Help You Relieve 36 Health Problems (Natural Solutions' Magazine Guides)
by Lita Lee (Author)


The medical industry continues to tell us that conventional medicine is the only way to treat all of our health issues. For too many people, however, these treatments do little more than spend money. But there are alternatives. For decades, the use of natural enzymes has been studied and evaluated. The Enzyme Cure is a comprehensive guide for everyone who wishes to learn more about treating health problems with enzymes.

The Enzyme Cure teaches you how to use plant enzymes to help reverse asthma, cancer, diabetes, herpes, kidney stones, menopausal symptoms, weight problems, and dozens of other common disorders. It not only details the enzymes that should be used for each condition, but also guides you in treating many underlying problems through diet and lifestyle changes. If you...

Enzymes: The Key to Health, Vol. 1 (The Fundamentals)

Enzymes: The Key to Health, Vol. 1 (The Fundamentals)
by Howard F., Jr. Loomis (Author)


Enzymes: The Key to Health, Vol. 1 (The Fundamentals) by Howard F. Jr. Loomis

Enzyme Nutrition

Enzyme Nutrition
by Dr. Edward Howell (Author)


Why is eating food in its natural state, unprocessed and unrefined, so vital to the maintenance of good health? What is lacking in our modern diet that makes us so susceptible to degenerative disease? What natural elements in food may play a key role in unlocking the secrets of life extension? These fascinating questions, and many more, are answered in Enzyme Nutrition.
Written by one of America’s pioneering biochemists and nutrition researchers, Dr. Edward Howell, Enzyme Nutrition presents the most vital nutritional discovery since that of vitamins and minerals—food enzymes. Our digestive organs produce some enzymes internally, however food enzymes are necessary for optimal health and must come from uncooked foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw sprouted grains,...

Enzyme Systems that Metabolise Drugs and Other Xenobiotics

Enzyme Systems that Metabolise Drugs and Other Xenobiotics
by Costas Ioannides (Author)


This definitive reference work describes in detail the enzyme systems that participate in the metabolism of xenobiotics, particularly medicinal drugs. Each chapter focuses on a specific enzyme system, emphasising its role in the activation and detoxication of chemicals. Aspects discussed critically include:
* enzyme function in the metabolism and bioactivation of xenobiotics
* substrate specificity
* tissue distribution
* species distribution (to include laboratory animals and humans)
* hormonal regulation
* sex differences
* modulation by prior exposure to other chemicals
* age-dependent expression
* pharmacogenetics and modulation by disease.
Enzyme Systems that Metabolise Drugs and Other Xenobiotics will be essential reading...

Organic Chemistry of Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions, Revised Edition, Second Edition

Organic Chemistry of Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions, Revised Edition, Second Edition
by Richard B. Silverman Ph.D Organic Chemistry (Author)


The Organic Chemistry of Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions is not a book on enzymes, but rather a book on the general mechanisms involved in chemical reactions involving enzymes. An enzyme is a protein molecule in a plant or animal that causes specific reactions without itself being permanently altered or destroyed.

This is a revised edition of a very successful book, which appeals to both academic and industrial markets.

Illustrates the organic mechanism associated with each enzyme-catalyzed reaction
Makes the connection between organic reaction mechanisms and enzyme mechanisms
Compiles the latest information about molecular mechanisms of enzyme reactions
Accompanied by clearly drawn structures, schemes, and...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com