Newly discovered molecule could deliver drugs to treat diseases
(Medical Xpress)—Kansas State University researchers have discovered a molecule that may be capable of delivering drugs inside the body to treat diseases.
For the first time, researchers have designed and created a membrane-bounded vesicle formed entirely of peptides—molecules made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The membrane could serve as a new drug delivery system to safely treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
A study led by John Tomich, professor of biochemistry at Kansas State University, has been published in the journal PLOS ONE in September, and a patent for the discovery is pending.
The peptides are a set of self-assembling branched molecules made up of naturally occurring amino acids. The chemical properties of a peptide create a vesicle that Tomich describes as a bubble: It's made up of a thin membrane and is hollow inside. Created in a water solution, the bubble is filled with water rather than air.
The peptides—or bubbles—can be made in a solution containing a drug or other molecule that becomes encapsulated as the peptide assembles, yielding a trapped compound, much like a gelatin capsule holds over-the-counter oral remedies. The peptide vesicles could be delivered to appropriate cells in the body to treat diseases and minimize potential side effects.
"We see this as a new way to deliver any kind of molecule to cells," Tomich said. "We know that in certain diseases subpopulations of cells have gone awry, and we'd like to be able to specifically target them instead of attacking every cell, including healthy ones."
The finding could improve gene therapy, which has the potential to cure diseases by replacing diseased cells with healthy ones. Gene therapy is being tested in clinical trials, but the biggest challenge is how best to deliver the genes.
Methods include cells with a virus being injected into the body, and liposomes—fatty compounds—carrying the genes. However, these methods may present some problems.
When a virus is used, the body's immune system can attack the virus or cause a tumor. Lipid-based systems may cause inflammation and may not properly bind to cells.
The peptides created by Kansas State University researchers have advantages over their lipid counterparts. The peptides have improved stability and durability, are easier and quicker to create, and they could be delivered to a specific area in the body.
The peptides can be designed to have the ability to target cells, tissues, tumors or organs, and to encapsulate chemical reagents, antibodies, toxins and inhibitors, Tomich said.
"We don't even begin to know all of the potential applications for this discovery," he said. "We envision that many products could be packaged and delivered using these peptides."
More information: dx.plos.org/10.137… pone.0045374
Journal reference: PLoS ONE
Provided by Kansas State University
- New adhesive earns patent, may find place in space Mar 22, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Inside job: new radioactive agents for colon cancer work inside cells Oct 09, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers discover key to making cancer-killing peptides May 27, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Math may help calculate way to find new drugs for HIV and other diseases Feb 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Experimental 'stapled peptide' drug blocks key cancer molecule Aug 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Nearly 20 percent of kidneys that are recovered from deceased donors in the U.S. are refused for transplant due to factors ranging from scarring in small blood vessels of the kidney's filtering units to the organ going too ...
Medical research 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Discovery of circadian clock in mice hair reveals period of time when damage from radiotherapy can be quickly repaired
Discovering that mouse hair has a circadian clock - a 24-hour cycle of growth followed by restorative repair - researchers suspect that hair loss in humans from toxic cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy ...
Medical research 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 1 |
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have ...
Medical research 9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 2 |
New research from the University of Southampton has shown that blind and visually impaired people have the potential to use echolocation, similar to that used by bats and dolphins, to determine the location of an object.
Medical research 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 1 |
A novel vaccine study from South Dakota State University (SDSU) will headline the groundbreaking research that will be unveiled at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference ...
Medical research 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin are also commonly resistant to antimicrobial substances made by the human body, according to a study in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microb ...
44 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
6 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 1 |
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
9 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (8) | 2 |
Researchers have pinpointed a catalytic trigger for the onset of Alzheimer's disease – when the fundamental structure of a protein molecule changes to cause a chain reaction that leads to the death of neurons ...
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
7 hours ago | 3.4 / 5 (8) | 0 |