Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Florida Researchers Hope To Ease Asthma Pains And Provide A Sigh Of Relief

Date:
October 12, 1998
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
A UF research team of pharmacologists and chemists are studying how a potential asthma drug binds to, and activates its receptor in the cells lining the airways of the lungs.

GAINESVILLE --- Stephen Nowicki is a University of Florida medical student, triathlete and asthma sufferer. Since he was a child, Nowicki has suffered from exercise-induced asthma that he controls by taking medicine at least 20 minutes before exercising.

Nowicki took his experiences with asthma and his knowledge of medicine and began searching for better asthma treatments along with researchers at UF. Together, they hope to help Nowicki and other asthma sufferers like him. Their goals are to prolong the time the drug provides relief and to obtain a drug with minimal side effects. Asthma, a chronic disease characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, is a result of muscular constriction of the air passages of the lungs. It affects an estimated 14.6 million Americans, according to the American Lung Association.

In their pursuit of better relief for those who suffer, Nowicki and a UF research team of pharmacologists and chemists are studying how a potential asthma drug binds to, and activates its receptor in the cells lining the airways of the lungs. "Our research methods allow us to investigate how the drug interacts with the receptor in the cell and to synthesize new compounds in which these interactions are refined," said Nigel Richards, UF chemistry professor and member of the research team. "If we can manipulate the structure of the drug so as to control the motions of the receptor, we can change the shape of the drug/receptor complex." Richards said this change in the drug/receptor complex may provide a method for lengthening the time it takes for the drug to leave the receptor, providing a longer action time for the treatment.

In the laboratory, Nowicki and the researchers are making changes to the structure of their lead compound and the receptor to confirm their ideas of how the drug fits the receptor found in the lungs of asthma sufferers. "When our drug molecule sticks to the receptor, it is likely that the receptor changes shape," Richards said. "This change in molecular shape triggers a series of chemical processes in the lung cell that ultimately lead to the walls of the airways relaxing so that a larger volume of air can enter the lung." The research may provide insight into how to refine asthma drugs so asthma sufferers do not have to use an inhaler as often as with current treatments.

Other collaborators on the research project include Stephen Baker, a UF professor and chair of the pharmacology and therapeutics department, and Jeff Harrison, a UF assistant professor of chemistry and pharmacology and therapeutics, Harrison said the beta adrenergic receptor is the target protein in the lung for asthma drugs. Nowicki worked under Harrison's guidance to better understand how drugs stick to this receptor. "With a clearer picture of that process, researchers can design better asthma drugs making them avoid receptors not associated with asthma and potentially reduce drug side effects," Harrison said.

Richards said one of the strengths of UF's research is the collaborative efforts between diverse research methods such as chemical synthesis, molecular modeling and pharmacology. "Unfortunately, even if we identify a compound with the potential to treat asthma in the laboratory as a result of Nowicki's efforts," Richards said, "it requires a significant amount of time to ensure that it is safe enough to test on people." Richards said such a process may take 10 years. The sooner the better for Nowicki. "When I compete in races," he said, "it [asthma] does affect me to some degree psychologically as well as physically."

Writer: Kristen Vecellio, vecellio@ufl.edu

Source: Nigel Richards, (352) 392-3601, richards@qtp.ufl.edu

Photo Available: Color or black & white photo available with this story. For information, please call News & Public Affairs photography at (352) 392-9092.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "University Of Florida Researchers Hope To Ease Asthma Pains And Provide A Sigh Of Relief." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981012075247.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1998, October 12). University Of Florida Researchers Hope To Ease Asthma Pains And Provide A Sigh Of Relief. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981012075247.htm
University Of Florida. "University Of Florida Researchers Hope To Ease Asthma Pains And Provide A Sigh Of Relief." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981012075247.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins