Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature

Date:
April 16, 2014
Source:
Griffith University
Summary:
A new technique for discovering natural compounds has been discovered, and could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs. "This new research technique opens the door to unlimited opportunities, both in terms of chemistry and biology research, as we continue the search for new therapies against disease," one author said.

Researchers at Griffith University's Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs.

The corresponding author, Professor Ronald Quinn AM said testing the new process on a marine sponge had delivered not only confirmation that the system is effective, but also a potential lead in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

"We have found a new screening method which allows us to identify novel molecules drawn from nature to test for biological activity," Professor Quinn said.

"As it happens, the first new compound we discovered through this process has demonstrated a response in Parkinson's disease cells."

Prestigious chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie has published the results in "NMR Fingerprints of the Drug-like Natural Product Space: Iotrochotazine A, a Chemical Probe to Study Parkinson's Disease." (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201402239)

The first author Dr Tanja Grkovic said the screening process involves nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; a highly sensitive instrument through which it is possible to see natural products weighing as little as 20 micrograms, which is less than a grain of salt.

"When you are searching for nature-derived molecules, the jackpot is finding something that nobody has ever seen before and rather than just a variation on a known theme," Dr Grkovic said.

"We began the project by selecting 20 marine sponge samples randomly from Griffith's Nature Bank facility and using the NMR technique trying to visualise all the small molecules which could meet the requirements for a potential new drug.

"The idea was to look at patterns of data and identify unusual or unique sets. We followed one such pattern and isolated a natural product with a novel skeleton which has turned out to be a molecule which was completely unknown previously."

Griffith's Nature Bank is a unique drug discovery resource based on natural products found in Australia, China and Papua New Guinea. It comprises more than 45,000 samples of plants and marine invertebrates, 200,000 semi-purified fractions, 3,250 pure compounds and over 600 naturally-occurring fragments.

This NMR screening process provides a new way of searching all those natural samples stored in Nature Bank and uncovering the potential biological activity of the compounds within them.

Deputy Director of the Eskitis Institute and co-author of the paper, Associate Professor George Mellick, is a specialist researcher in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. He is delighted by the research prospects this new molecule may provide.

"What is very intriguing about this novel natural product is that, while we have found it has an effect on cells sourced from a Parkinson's patient, it showed a different biological activity on cells from healthy individuals," Associate Professor Mellick said.

"This provides us with a new tool to study the fundamental biology of Parkinson's and to get a better understanding of the cellular processes involved in the development of this disease.

But the Parkinson's response is just the start.

"This new research technique opens the door to unlimited opportunities, both in terms of chemistry and biology research at Eskitis, as we continue the search for new therapies against disease," Professor Quinn said.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tanja Grkovic, Rebecca H. Pouwer, Marie-Laure Vial, Luca Gambini, Alba Noël, John N. A. Hooper, Stephen A. Wood, George D. Mellick, Ronald J. Quinn. NMR Fingerprints of the Drug-like Natural-Product Space Identify Iotrochotazine A: A Chemical Probe to Study Parkinson’s Disease. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201402239

Cite This Page:

Griffith University. "Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416101739.htm>.
Griffith University. (2014, April 16). Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416101739.htm
Griffith University. "Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416101739.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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