Tag Archives: enzymes

Berkeley Lab Scientists Brew Jet Fuel in One-Pot Recipe

JBEI researchers use engineered bacteria to simplify biofuels production, potentially lowering cost

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have engineered a strain of bacteria that enables a “one-pot” method for producing advanced biofuels from a slurry of pre-treated plant material. (more…)

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3-D ‘Map’ of Enzyme Completed by MU Scientists Could Lead to More Effective Drugs

Enzyme map created by using a high-powered X-ray device

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The human body is full of proteins called enzymes that help nearly every function in the body. Scientists have been studying enzymes for decades in order to learn how they work and how to create better drugs and medical treatments for many ailments. Now, University of Missouri researchers have completed a 3-D map of an enzyme called Proline utilization A (PutA). PutA facilitates metabolism by adding oxygen to molecules. John Tanner, a professor in the MU Department of Biochemistry, says mapping this enzyme will give researchers a better understanding of its function, which could help drug manufacturers create more effective drugs. (more…)

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New Technique Targets Specific Areas of Cancer Cells with Different Drugs

Researchers have developed a technique for creating nanoparticles that carry two different cancer-killing drugs into the body and deliver those drugs to separate parts of the cancer cell where they will be most effective. The technique was developed by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“In testing on laboratory mice, our technique resulted in significant improvement in breast cancer tumor reduction as compared to conventional treatment techniques,” says Dr. Zhen Gu, senior author of a paper on the research and an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. (more…)

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New Advance in Biofuel Production

Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Develop Enzyme-free Ionic Liquid Pre-treatment

Advanced biofuels – liquid fuels synthesized from the sugars in cellulosic biomass – offer a clean, green and renewable alternative to gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. Bringing the costs of producing these advanced biofuels down to competitive levels with petrofuels, however, is a major challenge. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a bioenergy research center led by Berkeley Lab, have taken another step towards meeting this challenge with the development of a new technique for pre-treating cellulosic biomass with ionic liquids – salts that are liquids rather than crystals at room temperature. This new technique requires none of the expensive enzymes used in previous ionic liquid pretreatments, and makes it easier to recover fuel sugars and recycle the ionic liquid. (more…)

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Jurassic Park molecules?

Enzymes evolved in the lab hold commercial and scientific promise

Whether big, small, slimy, or tall, most animal bodies are symmetric.

Except for sea anemones, starfish, sponges, and the like, animals have bilateral, or right-left, symmetry. Us included.

The bilateral body plan became the norm over eons of evolution. But what about molecules? Have any evolved common structures like a body plan? (more…)

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Grapefruit Juice Lets Patients Take Lower Dose of Cancer Drug

A daily glass of grapefruit juice lets patients derive the same benefits from an anti-cancer drug as they would get from more than three times as much of the drug by itself, according to a new clinical trial. The combination could help patients avoid side effects associated with high doses of the drug and reduce the cost of the medication.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine study the effects that foods can have on the uptake and elimination of drugs used for cancer treatment. In a study published in August in Clinical Cancer Research, they show that eight ounces a day of grapefruit juice can slow the body’s metabolism of a drug called sirolimus, which has been approved for transplant patients but may also help many people with cancer.

Patients who drank eight ounces a day of grapefruit juice increased their sirolimus levels by 350 percent. A drug called ketoconazole that also slows drug metabolism increased sirolimus levels by 500 percent. (more…)

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Chemists Unlock Potential Target For Drug Development

EAST LANSING, Mich. — A receptor found on blood platelets whose importance as a potential pharmaceutical target has long been questioned may in fact be fruitful in drug testing, according to new research from Michigan State University chemists.

A team led by Dana Spence of MSU’s Department of Chemistry has revealed a way to isolate and test the receptor known as P2X1. By creating a new, simple method to study it after blood is drawn, the team has unlocked a potential new drug target for many diseases that impact red blood cells, such as diabetes, hypertension and cystic fibrosis. (more…)

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Andrew Artenstein: Essential Enzymes Key to Disease, Maybe Treatments

*Proprotein convertases are enzymes that activate many essential proteins, but they are also implicated in many processes that cause disease. In a research review in the New England Journal of Medicine, Andrew Artenstein and Steven Opal argue that proprotein convertases are potentially rich targets for developing therapies.*

Most people have never heard of proprotein convertases, but the enzymes activate many proteins that are essential for life. Unfortunately, their fundamental role puts them in the middle of many processes that cause disease – not just cancer or athlerosclerosis, but both of those and Alzheimer’s and anthrax and the flu and an amazing variety of other maladies.

In a research review article appearing Dec. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine, Andrew Artenstein, physician-in-chief in the Department of Medicine at Memorial Hospital, and Steven Opal, chief of infectious diseases at Memorial Hospital, argue that proprotein convertases (PCs) are potentially rich targets for developing therapies. Artenstein, who with Opal is on the faculty of the Warren Alpert School of Medicine, explained PCs to David Orenstein. (more…)

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