A Fourier transformation based method to mine peptide space for antimicrobial activity.
BACKGROUND: Naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides are currently being explored as potential candidate peptide drugs. Since antimicrobial peptides are part of the innate immune system of every living organism, it is possible to discover new candidate peptides using the available genomic and proteomic data. High throughput computational techniques could also be used to virtually scan the entire peptide space for discovering out new candidate antimicrobial peptides. RESULT: We have identified a unique indexing method based on biologically distinct characteristic features of known antimicrobial peptides. Analysis of the entries in the antimicrobial peptide databases, based on our indexing method, using Fourier transformation technique revealed a distinct peak in their power spectrum. We have developed a method to mine the genomic and proteomic data, for the presence of peptides with potential antimicrobial activity, by looking for this distinct peak. We also used the Euclidean metric to rank the potential antimicrobial peptides activity. We have parallelized our method so that virtually any given protein space could be data mined, in search of antimicrobial peptides. CONCLUSION: The results show that the Fourier transform based method with the property based coding strategy could be used to scan the peptide space for discovering new potential antimicrobial peptides. (+info)
A comparative study on the cost of new antibiotics and drugs of other therapeutic categories.
BACKGROUND: Drug treatment is becoming more expensive due to the increased cost for the introduction of new drugs, and there seems to be an uneven distribution of medication cost for different therapeutic categories. We hypothesized that the cost of new antimicrobial agents may differ from that of other therapeutic categories and this may play a role in the stagnation of development of new antibiotics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a pharmaco-economical comparative analysis of the drug cost of treatment for new agents introduced in the United States drug market in various therapeutic categories. We calculated the drug cost (in US dollars) of a ten-day treatment of all new drugs approved by the FDA during the period between January 1997 and July 2003, according to the 2004 Red Book Pharmacy's Fundamental Reference. New anti-neoplastic agents were found to be the most expensive drugs in comparison to all other therapeutic categories, with a median ten-day drug-treatment cost of US$848 compared to the median ten-day drug-treatment costs of all other categories ranging from US$29 to US$301. On the other hand, new antimicrobial drugs were found to be much less expensive, with a median ten-day drug-treatment cost of US$137 and $US85 for all anti-microbial agents and for anti-microbial agents excluding anti-HIV medications, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The drug-treatment cost of new medications varies considerably by different therapeutic categories. This fact may influence industry decisions regarding the development of new drugs and may play a role in the shortage of new antimicrobial agents in the fight against the serious problem of antimicrobial resistance. (+info)
Hydrogen sulfide: third gaseous transmitter, but with great pharmacological potential.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is well known traditionally as a toxic gas, has been proven to be produced endogenously by 3 enzymes in mammalian tissues and plays important roles in physiological and pathophysiological conditions. In the central nervous system, H2S functions as not only a neuromodulator, but also a neuroprotectant against oxidative stress. In the cardiovascular system, H2S relaxes vascular smooth muscles by the activation of KATP channels and inhibits smooth muscle cell proliferation via the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. These effects are important for maintaining blood pressure and preventing vessel structural remodeling, and identifies H2S as an important factor in the development of some vascular diseases, such as hypertension. H2S also shows cardioprotective effects in ischemic myocardium and septic and endotoxin shock. Recent studies have demonstrated a new mechanism to explain the motor effect of H2S on the rat detrusor muscle, which is through the activation of the capsaicin-sensitive primary neuron. This review focuses on the recent research achievements on H2S and discloses the great potential of H2S as the third gaseous transmitter in cardiac protection. (+info)
Rapid discovery and optimization of therapeutic antibodies against emerging infectious diseases.
Theodore E. Woodward Award: development of novel, EBV-targeted therapies for EBV-positive tumors.
The near universal presence of EBV in certain tumors suggests that new EBV-based therapies could be developed for these malignancies. We have explored one EBV-based therapy that involves the purposeful induction of lytic EBV infection in tumors. Induction of lytic EBV infection in tumors activates expression of EBV-encoded kinases that convert the prodrug, ganciclovir, to its active cytotoxic form. In mouse models for EBV-positive tumors, the combination of lytic-inducing chemotherapy and ganciclovir is much more effective than either agent alone for treating tumors. Another potential EBV-based target is the cellular protein, CD70. EBV-positive tumors commonly express CD70, while CD70 expression in normal cells is restricted to a few highly activated B cells and T cells. Anti-CD70 monoclonal antibody inhibits the growth of CD70-positive (but not CD70-negative) Burkitt's lymphomas in SCID mice. Finally, while completely lytic EBV infection is clearly incompatible with tumor cell growth, we recently discovered that small numbers of lytically-infected cells actually promote the growth of EBV-immortalized lymphocytes in SCID mice, through the release of paracrine growth factors as well as angiogenic factors. Thus, agents that prevent the earliest stage of lytic EBV infection (such as fatty acid synthase inhibitors), rather than the later stage of viral replication, might also be useful in the treatment of early-stage EBV-positive tumors. (+info)
Characterization of mitochondrial trifunctional protein and its inactivation study for medicine development.