Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Sheds Light On Cause Of An AIDS Treatment Side Effect

Date:
September 12, 2002
Source:
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Summary:
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART, is the standard of care for HIV/AIDS patients and has prolonged the lives of countless persons with the disease. HAART has been associated, however, with the emergence of lipodystrophy syndromes. In this month's issue of the journal Mitochondrion, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., report that protease inhibitors, a component of HAART, can lead to mitochondrial toxicity. The effect, seen in this test tube study, of protease inhibitors on mitochondria could help explain the biology behind lipodystrophy and also could point to possible future therapeutic approaches for the syndrome.

Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART, is the standard of care for HIV/AIDS patients and has prolonged the lives of countless persons with the disease. HAART has been associated, however, with the emergence of lipodystrophy syndromes. In this month's issue of the journal Mitochondrion, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., report that protease inhibitors, a component of HAART, can lead to mitochondrial toxicity. The effect, seen in this test tube study, of protease inhibitors on mitochondria could help explain the biology behind lipodystrophy and also could point to possible future therapeutic approaches for the syndrome. Lipodystrophy is a clinical condition characterized by a poor or uneven distribution of fat cells. This distribution causes large amounts of fat to be stored in inappropriate places, which can lead to lower belly obesity and a buffalo-like hump on the upper back. Lipodystrophy side effects also include diabetes and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. There is significant scientific debate about the precise mechanisms and metabolic pathways involved in the development of lipodystrophy.

The clinical features of HAART-associated lipodystrophy are similar to those commonly seen in people with mitochondrial dysfunction. The mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell, and interference with its normal processing of proteins and energy production can result in distortion or dysfunction of other cellular processes.

HAART is a combination of potent antiretroviral drugs such as protease inhibitors and nucleoside-analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Researchers have known for many years that NRTIs in HAART cocktail regimens can directly cause mitochondrial toxicity by inhibiting a mitochondrial enzyme called DNA polymerase gamma. However, until now it was unknown whether protease inhibitors had a direct effect on mitochondria, as well, or whether they played a role in mitochondrial toxicity.

"In this study, we have demonstrated that protease inhibitors can directly affect an enzyme called mitochondrial processing protease (MPP), which can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction - possibly contributing to the development of syndromes such as lipodystrophy," said Lauren Wood, M.D., of NCI. While protease inhibitors alone do not necessarily cause lipodystrophy, the combination of direct effects on mitochondria by both protease inhibitors and NRTIs may lead to the condition. Moreover, as a class of drugs, protease inhibitors are highly hydrophobic (water insoluble), and hence may be concentrated in fatty tissues and have a greater impact on mitochondria in those tissues with chronic exposure.

"The protease inhibitors were weak inhibitors of the enzymatic processing system," said Henry Weiner, Ph.D., of Purdue University. "If they were stronger inhibitors it would have likely led to more serious complications in patients." It is not unusual to find that a drug acts on a different target than the one it was designed to affect, which is why there are often side effects from drugs. "This finding that protease inhibitors affect MPP could be useful if one wants to develop inhibitors of MPP for other conditions, such as cancer," said Weiner.

The researchers do not know to what degree MPP inhibition correlates with mitochondrial change or disruption, nor if what they found with isolated mitochondria, in this test tube study, actually occurs in patients using the drug. It is known, however, that both NRTIs and protease inhibitors have direct effects on fat cells, and mitochondrial abnormalities in fat tissue have been described in patients with lipodystrophy.

According to Steven J. Zullo, Ph.D., of NIST (formerly of the National Institute of Mental Health), "Many drugs can adversely affect mitochondria. This study highlights the importance of evaluating the potential short- and long-term effects of drugs on mitochondria before they are recommended for widespread use."

Researchers say that future studies should look at the effect of MPPs on the fatty tissue in patients as opposed to the test tube experiments done for this study. They also recommend that when scientists design new HIV/AIDS drugs, they consider the effects that the drugs might have on mitochondria, and attempt to minimize adverse effects.

For more information about cancer, visit NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Study Sheds Light On Cause Of An AIDS Treatment Side Effect." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020912065623.htm>.
NIH/National Cancer Institute. (2002, September 12). Study Sheds Light On Cause Of An AIDS Treatment Side Effect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020912065623.htm
NIH/National Cancer Institute. "Study Sheds Light On Cause Of An AIDS Treatment Side Effect." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020912065623.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
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