X

Cystic Fibrosis - Drug Treatment Nearly Ready

by Rathi Manohar on  October 15, 2010 at 12:47 PM Research News   - G J E 4
A -A +
Cystic Fibrosis, the oft-occuring fatal genetic diseases, could be soon successfully treated as scientists are on the threshold of developing a new drug.
 Cystic Fibrosis - Drug Treatment Nearly Ready
Cystic Fibrosis - Drug Treatment Nearly Ready

The work by Tzyh-Chang Hwang, a professor in the School of Medicine's Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology and the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, focuses on the two most common genetic mutations among approximately 1,500 mutations found in patients with cystic fibrosis.

These two mutations cause specific chloride channels in the cell, known as the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) chloride channels, to malfunction. This ultimately leads to repeated pneumonia, the primary cause of most deaths associated with cystic fibrosis.

"The normal function of a cell is to pass chloride ions across the cell membrane at a very fast speed," Hwang said. "We know some signaling molecules elicit this reaction, much like a hand signals an automatic water faucet to dispense water. But in the case of cystic fibrosis, that signal is no longer detected by the mutated channel protein.

Through some mechanisms we still don't quite understand, malfunction of this channel protein eventually leads to bacterial infection in the lung, which is believed to be responsible for the most severe symptoms of cystic fibrosis."

The most recent study found that manipulating the sensor of the channel protein can significantly rectify the malfunction of the mutated channel, thus opening the door to a drug design that may eventually be a "real cure," Hwang said.

"We could help a lot of patients if we can utilize the power of computer simulations and structure-based drug design to discover new therapeutical reagents for cystic fibrosis, but it's very expensive to do this kind of research in an academic institute," Hwang said.

The study appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

Ask an Expert

C
If you have a question about health related issues, you can now post it in our Ask An Expert section on our community website Medwonders.com and get answers from our panel of experts.

Most Popular News on Medindia

P
M
X

Ask an Expert

Ask an Expert+
s
Drug to Stop Memory Loss may be Available Soon
 Drug to Stop Memory Loss may be Available Soon
S  Brain Dysfunction in Child Brought About by Immune Response During Pregnancy
Brain Dysfunction in Child Brought About by Immun...