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.

Related Articles


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 January 28, 2015 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 January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) — Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) — Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) — A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) 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:

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