Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Molecular Doctors

Proteins R Us.  They make up our bodies, and they control how our bodies function.

A lot of nasty diseases are caused by genetic mutations that affect the proteins that control body functions.  They cause the protein molecules to fold up so that they don't function correctly.
Artist's concept. The ability of drugs called
'pharmacoperones' to rescue misfolded proteins
and return them to normalcy could someday be
an underlying cure to a number of diseases,
scientists say. (Credit: © everythingpossible / Fotolia)

Among the diseases are degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Other diseases include some types of diabetes, cataracts and cystic fibrosis.

Oregon Health & Science University researchers have now found a group of chemicals that can enter cells and unfold the non-functioning proteins, in effect undoing the damage and curing the disease.

This has been successfully tested on mice, and human trials may begin soon.

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