JUL 03, 2019 6:36 AM PDT

Common Anticonvulsant Drug May Counteract Inflammation

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Sepsis is a serious medical condition that results from inflammation in the body and can cause fatal multi-organ dysfunction. The inflammation is usually triggered from a chromosomal protein called high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) that is secreted from immune or dying cells. Current treatments methods to counteract the inflammation lacks efficacy however, a common anticonvulsant and vasodilating drug called papaverine, discovered recently by scientists through a computer software-based docking study, may provide a strong therapeutic method.

Learn more about sepsis:

"Our research group has been trying to identify compounds, preferably based on existing drugs, that block the binding of irritants to cellular receptors,” says senior researcher, Professor Sei-ichi Tanuma from Tokyo University of Science (TUS). “We want to find novel drugs to treat inflammation-based conditions.”

Supposedly, papeverine can effectively counteract the inflammation in septic conditions by inhibiting the binding of HMGB1 to its receptor—known as RAGE. Findings of the study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications describes a novel approach involving the utilization of a computer software program known as "COSMOS” to develop a small protein that mimics the RAGE-binding domain of HMGB1. Results indicated that the designed protein effectively mimicked the binding domain and "competitively inhibited" the HMGB1-RAGE interaction. Using data generated from the DrugBank Library, they concluded that papaverine was structurally similar to the protein they designed.

"This in silico drug design approach, to find novel effects of papaverine, is a unique strategy employed for the first time only by TUS researchers,” says Professor Tanuma.

Laboratory studies have shown that papaverine successfully reduced death rates among model mice.

"Drug repositioning using the in silico drug discovery approach used in our research can repurpose existing drugs into novel therapeutic agents. Also, because the cost of 'designing' a novel drug is saved, such approaches can also radically reduce the cost of medical treatment. The next step is to understand the degree to which papaverine blocks HMGB1-RAGE interaction in the human body. We are now trying to optimize the structure of papaverine to design a more 'effective' drug for the future."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 01, 2021
Immunology
Tumor-Killing 101: Vaccine Trains Immune Cells to Keep Skin Cancer at Bay
APR 01, 2021
Tumor-Killing 101: Vaccine Trains Immune Cells to Keep Skin Cancer at Bay
Cancer researchers have developed a therapeutic vaccine for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Instead of protectin ...
APR 01, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Injection Treats Childhood Blindness
APR 01, 2021
Injection Treats Childhood Blindness
A patient with a genetic-based childhood blindness has gained vision after receiving an experimental RNA therapeutic tre ...
APR 13, 2021
Immunology
The "Unexpected" Reason Why COVID Antivirals Don't Work
APR 13, 2021
The "Unexpected" Reason Why COVID Antivirals Don't Work
Purdue University researchers have made a breakthrough finding that could explain why the disease is so hard to manage t ...
MAY 17, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Survey Results: Where Is Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Now?
MAY 17, 2021
Survey Results: Where Is Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Now?
Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lines are now commonly used across the globe. In the lab, researchers rely on hPSCs t ...
MAY 18, 2021
Immunology
A Silver Bullet Against COVID Variants?
MAY 18, 2021
A Silver Bullet Against COVID Variants?
Canadian researchers have discovered an antiviral drug that blocks the SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting lung cells. Promi ...
MAY 31, 2021
Immunology
Engineering Faster, More Agile T Cell Cancer Fighters
MAY 31, 2021
Engineering Faster, More Agile T Cell Cancer Fighters
Cell therapies use engineered T cells extracted from the patient’s own immune system to rally an attack on tumors. ...
Loading Comments...