Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Large-scale identification, analysis of suppressive drug interactions

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Summary:
Cell analysis finds drug interactions to be startlingly common: baker's yeast is giving scientists a better understanding of drug interactions, which are a major cause of illness and hospitalization worldwide. When two or more medications are taken at the same time, one can suppress or enhance the effectiveness of the other. Similarly, one drug may magnify the toxicity of another. There are severe practical limits on the practical scope of drug studies in humans. Limits come in part from ethics and in part from the staggering expense.

Baker's yeast is giving scientists a better understanding of drug interactions, which are a major cause of hospitalization and illness world-wide.

When two or more medications are taken at the same time, one can suppress or enhance the effectiveness of the other. Similarly, one drug may magnify the toxicity of another. These types of interactions are a major cause of illness and hospitalization. However, there are severe practical limits on the practical scope of drug studies in humans. Limits come in part from ethics and in part from the staggering expense. Because of the vast number of combinations of different drugs that might be prescribed together in the same patient, drug interactions in patients are not extensively studied, even in the process of reviewing new drugs for approval.

This limitation has caused researchers to turn to simpler model organisms in which to study drug interactions, enabling systematic study of drug interactions at relatively low cost, according toresearchers at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Frederick Roth and international colleagues published their findings after testing drugs on the simple yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer's yeast or baker's yeast.

Surprising effect

"Baker's yeast is a wonderful tool for this purpose," says Dr. Roth. "Many aspects of both yeast and human genomes have remained the same since they diverged from a common ancestor around one billion years ago. When a specific combination of drugs has a surprising effect on yeast growth there is no guarantee that it will do the same thing to human cells. But it does give us a general idea of how often drugs are able to enhance or suppress each other's effectiveness." Dr. Roth is a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum and a Professor at the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre. He also holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Integrative Biology.

For this first test, the team worked with anti-fungal chemicals in a total of 440 drug pairs. They found that, in almost one fifth of the combinations, one drug reduced the effectiveness of the other drug. They also found that some drugs can have a greater tendency to suppress other drugs, while other drugs are more frequently suppressed. The same team published a related study in 2011, showing that for about one third of drug pairs tested the compounds increased each other's effectiveness. "If drug interactions are happening at anything approaching these rates in humans, we should be very concerned," Dr. Roth adds.

When one drug suppresses the effectiveness of another drug, "the patient is losing benefit from one or both drugs, while still potentially being exposed to their side effects," Dr. Roth adds. When a drug combination has an effect that is more than the sum of its parts, the patient might get too much of a good thing, and it is possible for drugs to intensify each other's toxicity as well.

"This methodology may also prove useful to explore positive types of drug interactions such as in personalized medicine," adds Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum. "Diseases such as cancer rarely respond to single medications, and this new systematic technological approach may have the potential to allow rapid optimization of combination therapies," he notes. The study noted one example of a compound (Staurosporine) that was suppressed by acidity. This phenomenon is interesting in the context of cancer because the peculiar metabolism of cancer cells often makes the local tumour environment more acidic. It would be particularly exciting to find more anti-cancer compounds that were enhanced by acidity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Murat Cokol, ZoharB. Weinstein, Kaan Yilancioglu, Murat Tasan, Allison Doak, Dilay Cansever, Beste Mutlu, Siyang Li, Raul Rodriguez-Esteban, Murodzhon Akhmedov, Aysegul Guvenek, Melike Cokol, Selim Cetiner, Guri Giaever, Ivan Iossifov, Corey Nislow, Brian Shoichet, FrederickP. Roth. Large-Scale Identification and Analysis of Suppressive Drug Interactions. Chemistry & Biology, 2014; 21 (4): 541 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.02.012

Cite This Page:

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. "Large-scale identification, analysis of suppressive drug interactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125243.htm>.
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. (2014, April 24). Large-scale identification, analysis of suppressive drug interactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125243.htm
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. "Large-scale identification, analysis of suppressive drug interactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125243.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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