Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
Demo Company

Newly Developed Compound Protects Heart Cells During and After Infarction

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 18 Feb 2013
Using two recently developed diverse compounds, scientists have been able to show in animal models that suppressing a specific enzyme protects heart cells and neighboring tissue against the debilitating injury incurred by heart attacks. The compounds also protect against additional damage from restored blood flow after an attack, a process known as reperfusion.

The study, which was led by Dr. Philip LoGrasso, a professor and senior scientific director of discovery biology at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI; Jupiter, USA), was published in the February 8, 2013, print edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

A myocardial infarction greatly restricts blood supply, starving heart cells and neighboring tissue of oxygen, which can cause enormous damage in comparatively little time—at times in just a few minutes. This decrease in oxygen, known as an ischemic cascade, results in a sudden crush of metabolic waste that damages cell membranes as well as the mitochondria.

Restoring blood flow adds considerably to the damage, unfortunately, a serious medical issue when it comes to treating major ischemic events such as stroke and heart attack. Reperfusion triggers generation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species that attack and damage cells, intensifying inflammation, signaling white blood cells to attack otherwise salvageable cells and maybe even stimulating potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmias.

The new study revealed that inhibiting the enzyme, c-jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK; pronounced junk), protected against ischemic/reperfusion injury in lab rodents, reducing the total volume of tissue death by as much as 34%. It also substantially decreased levels of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunction.

In earlier studies, TSRI scientists discovered that JNK migrates to the mitochondria upon oxidative stress. That migration, combined with JNK activation, they found, is associated with a number of severe health issues, including liver damage, neuronal cell death, stroke, and heart attack. The peptide and small molecule inhibitor (SR3306), developed by Dr. LoGrasso and his colleagues, blocks those harmful effects, thereby reducing programmed cell death four-fold.

“This is the same story,” said Dr. LoGrasso. “These just happen to be heart cells, but we know that oxidative stress kills cells, and JNK inhibition protects against this stress. Blocking the translocation of JNK to the mitochondria is essential for stopping this killing cascade and may be an effective treatment for damage done to heart cells during an ischemic/reperfusion event.”

Moreover, according to Dr. LoGrasso, biomarkers that intensify during a heart attack decrease in the presence of JNK inhibition, a distinct indication that blocking JNK reduces the severity of the infarction.

Related Links:

The Scripps Research Institute



view channel
Image: Micrograph showing immunofluorescence of skin differentiation markers for basal keratinocytes (Photo courtesy of Dr. Russ Carstens, University of Pennsylvania).

Alternate Splicing Proteins Critically Linked to Skin and Organ Development

Two proteins that regulate alternative splicing in epithelial cells have been linked to the proper development of the skin and protective layers that surround other organs in the body. Two steps are... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Use of catchphrase terms like “breakthrough” and “promising” in public news media presenting new drugs tends to result in incorrect assumptions and conclusions about the meaning and significance of criteria for FDA breakthrough-designated and accelerated-approval drugs (Photo courtesy of Dartmouth Institute).

Words That Inappropriately Enhance Perception of New Drug’s Effectiveness

Researchers have found that using the words “breakthrough” and “promising” in presenting a new drug to the general public often has a dramatic effect on judgment about its effectiveness.... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

New Genomic Research Kit Simplifies Exome Studies

An exciting new tool is now available for biotech researchers working in the field of genomic analysis. The human exome is critical to our genetic make-up and is generally accepted as having the greatest influence on how the genetic blueprint is utilized. The exome is defined as all coding exons in the genome and is... Read more


view channel

Collaboration Agreement to Boost Discovery of Fully Human Antibodies for Therapeutic Use

The discovery of fully human antibodies for therapeutic use will be boosted by a recently announced collaboration between a major university research center and a dynamic biopharmaceutical development company. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Tarrytown, New York, USA) and The Experimental Therapeutics Institute (ETI)... Read more


17 Oct 2015 - 21 Oct 2015
25 Oct 2015 - 29 Oct 2015
16 Nov 2015 - 19 Nov 2015
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.