Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart Attack Prevention: Potential New Use For Viagra?

Date:
August 28, 2008
Source:
Queen's University
Summary:
A breakthrough into regulating a single enzyme may lead to new drug therapies that will help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The research focuses on the effects of Viagra -- the popular erectile dysfunction drug, which is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension.

Pharmacology and Toxicology professor Donald Maurice supervises as PhD student Lindsay Wilson (Pathology and Molecular Medicine) loads a gel to detect the presence of proteins in a cell.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Wild

A basic science breakthrough by Queen’s researchers into regulating a single enzyme may lead to new drug therapies that will help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Led by professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Donald Maurice, the study focuses on the effects of Viagra – the popular erectile dysfunction drug, which is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension.

“As scientists, we’re excited about this discovery because it’s a fundamentally new approach to regulating what enzymes do in cells,” says Dr. Maurice, a Career Scientist with the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation. “The fact that it also offers a potentially novel use of a drug already widely in use for other applications is an unexpected bonus.”

The enzyme targeted by the Queen’s researchers is known to regulate the activity of platelets: small blood cells needed for normal blood clotting. Problems can arise when people have stents permanently implanted in their arteries to maintain blood flow. Their platelets sometimes bind to the stent and, if enough platelets accumulate to form a blockage, this may cause a sudden, massive heart attack or stroke to occur.

Drugs like Viagra have been shown to inhibit PDE5, explains Lindsay Wilson, a PhD student in Pathology and Molecular Medicine and first author on the study. Until now, however, it hasn’t been possible to isolate the small “pool” of activity within the cell where this is occurring.

The Queen’s study shows that within each cell there are two different pools of the PDE5 enzyme, but that only one of them regulates platelet activation. “Understanding how the cell works should allow us to affect the activity of enzymes in one neighborhood – and leave alone their ‘identical twins’ in a different neighborhood in that cell,” says Ms Wilson.

“The idea is to use a PDE5 inhibitor such as Viagra selectively to inhibit platelet function,” she continues. We now know that not all the enzymes in the cell are doing the same job. Just like in real estate, it’s all about the location!”

The team’s findings were recently published online in the international journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Other members of the Queen’s research team are Hisham Elbatarny and Brian Bennett (Pharmacology and Toxicology), and Scott Crawley (Biochemistry). Funding came from the Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Queen's University. "Heart Attack Prevention: Potential New Use For Viagra?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826124409.htm>.
Queen's University. (2008, August 28). Heart Attack Prevention: Potential New Use For Viagra?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826124409.htm
Queen's University. "Heart Attack Prevention: Potential New Use For Viagra?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080826124409.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. 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