Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rotten egg gas holds key to healthcare therapies

Date:
July 9, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
It may smell of flatulence and have a reputation for being highly toxic, but when used in the right tiny dosage, hydrogen sulfide is now being being found to offer potential health benefits in a range of issues, from diabetes to stroke, heart attacks and dementia. A new compound (AP39) could hold the key to future therapies, by targeting delivery of very small amounts of the substance to the right (or key) places inside cells.

It may smell of flatulence and have a reputation for being highly toxic, but when used in the right tiny dosage, hydrogen sulfide is now being being found to offer potential health benefits in a range of issues, from diabetes to stroke, heart attacks and dementia. A new compound (AP39), designed and made at the University of Exeter, could hold the key to future therapies, by targeting delivery of very small amounts of the substance to the right (or key) places inside cells.

Scientists in Exeter have already found that the compound protects mitochondria -- the "powerhouse" of cells, which drive energy production in blood vessel cells. Preventing or reversing mitochondrial damage is a key strategy for treatments of a variety of conditions such as stroke, heart failure, diabetes and arthritis, dementia and aging. Mitochondria determine whether cells live or die and they regulate inflammation. In the clinic, dysfunctional mitochondria are strongly linked to disease severity.

Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: "When cells become stressed by disease, they draw in enzymes to generate minute quantities of hydrogen sulfide. This keeps the mitochondria ticking over and allows cells to live. If this doesn't happen, the cells die and lose the ability to regulate survival and control inflammation. We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria. Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."

Dr. Mark Wood of Biosciences, at the University of Exeter, added "Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with have significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases."

The research is being conducted in several models of disease, and pre-clinical results are promising. For example, in models of cardiovascular disease, research shows that more than 80 per cent of the powerhouse mitochondria cells survive under otherwise highly destructive conditions, if the AP39 is administered. Professors Whiteman and Wood are now working towards advancing the research to a stage where it can be tested in humans.

The study was published in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications. A follow-up study, published in The Nitric Oxide Journal with collaborators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, also found that the compound selectively prevented mitochondrial DNA in mitochondria. Once damaged, this DNA cannot be repaired, leaving individuals more vulnerable to disease symptoms.

Early indications in small-scale studies, presented at this year's 3rd International Conference on Hydrogen Sulfide in Biology and Medicine in Kyoto, also show that in high blood pressure, AP39 reversed blood vessel stiffening and lowered blood pressure. It also dramatically improved chances of survival after a heart attack by slowing the heartbeat, improving its efficiency.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sophie Le Trionnaire, Alexis Perry, Bartosz Szczesny, Csaba Szabo, Paul G. Winyard, Jacqueline L. Whatmore, Mark E. Wood, Matthew Whiteman. The synthesis and functional evaluation of a mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide donor, (10-oxo-10-(4-(3-thioxo-3H-1,2-dithiol-5-yl)phenoxy)decyl)triphenylphosphonium bromide (AP39). MedChemComm, 2014; 5 (6): 728 DOI: 10.1039/C3MD00323J

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Rotten egg gas holds key to healthcare therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709115455.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, July 9). Rotten egg gas holds key to healthcare therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709115455.htm
University of Exeter. "Rotten egg gas holds key to healthcare therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709115455.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) — Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. 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