Mammalian 'Fatty Acid Factory' Holds Promise for Multiple Disease Cure

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 7 2008 11:32 AM

Scientists at the ETH Zurich have determined the atomic structure of a mammalian fatty acid synthase, a promising target for the development of drugs to treat cancer, obesity and metabolic disorders.

Mammalian fatty acid synthase belongs to a large family of multi-enzymes, some of which are responsible for the synthesis of complex natural products with antibiotic, anti-cancer, anti-fungal and immunosuppressive properties that are of outstanding medical relevance.

In their research paper, the researchers say that their work may facilitate the production of improved compounds.

The team believe that the production of antibiotics modified with the aid of novel multi-enzymes may be effective in the fight against resistant strains of bacteria.

For their study, the researchers used data collected at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland.

The study, supported by the National Centre of Excellence in Research (NCCR) in Structural Biology at the Swiss National Science Foundation, has been published in the journal Science.