Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher finds potential new use for old drugs

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Washington State University
Summary:
A class of drugs used to treat parasitic infections such as malaria may also be useful in treating cancers and immune-related diseases, a new study has found. Researchers discovered that simple modifications to the drug furamidine have a major impact on its ability to affect specific human proteins involved in the on-off switches of certain genes.

A class of drugs used to treat parasitic infections such as malaria may also be useful in treating cancers and immune-related diseases, a new WSU-led study has found.

Researchers discovered that simple modifications to the drug furamidine have a major impact on its ability to affect specific human proteins involved in the on-off switches of certain genes.

"This was rather unexpected, given how relatively simple the molecules are that we modified and how difficult it has been to affect these proteins," said Gregory Poon, pharmaceutical scientist at Washington State University.

The proteins -- known as transcription factors -- regulate the expression of genes in a highly coordinated and intricate manner, making them attractive targets for therapeutic drugs. But it has proven difficult to design drugs to affect them, Poon said.

"For this reason, they have been called undruggable," he said. "Recently, however, scientists have been making headway in targeting these transcription factors with drugs, and now our results suggest this class of drugs can be a useful addition to the arsenal."

Furamidine belongs to a family of drugs known as heterocyclic dications. The drug has a long history of use in serious parasitic diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness and PCP, a common infection in HIV/AIDS.

"There is tremendous knowledge and experience with using furamidine and related drugs in humans, so these drugs have an important advantage over other classes of drugs that are relatively behind in clinical experience," Poon said.

Poon collaborated with researchers at Georgia State University. The team found that derivatives of furamidine can target a specific transcription factor known as PU.1.

Their findings were published in Nucleic Acids Research journal.

PU.1 is a major factor in development and function of the human immune system, and it plays important roles in diseases such as some leukemias, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. PU.1 is also a member of a large family of related transcription factors, known as ETS, that is involved in a broader range of cancers and other diseases.

"I am fortunate to be working with some of the best people in this area," Poon said, referring to his collaborators, Dave Boykin and David Wilson of Georgia State University. "The challenge now is to fine-tune this class of drugs to make them as specific as possible to other ETS-family transcription factors as well."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Munde, S. Wang, A. Kumar, C. E. Stephens, A. A. Farahat, D. W. Boykin, W. D. Wilson, G. M. K. Poon. Structure-dependent inhibition of the ETS-family transcription factor PU.1 by novel heterocyclic diamidines. Nucleic Acids Research, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkt955

Cite This Page:

Washington State University. "Researcher finds potential new use for old drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200826.htm>.
Washington State University. (2013, November 12). Researcher finds potential new use for old drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200826.htm
Washington State University. "Researcher finds potential new use for old drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112200826.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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