Dr. Shears said, "Our group of cooperating scientists obviously believes it is important to learn more about how a shellfish toxin causes diarrhea. That's significant in itself.
"But you can see in this example," Dr. Shears added, "how one scientific discovery can lead to another: A new drug can be based upon inhibiting the protein phosphatases that slow fluid output in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. The study of an important environmental toxin may reap unexpected benefits for the treatment of a common and debilitating genetic disease."
The other researchers on the cooperative study are Weiwen Xie, B.S., of the Department of Neurology at the University of Chicago; Kevin R.H. Solomons, Ph.D., and Sally Freeman, Ph.D., of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Manchester; Marcia A. Kaetzel, Ph.D., of the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati; Karol S. Bruzik, Ph.D., of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois, Chicago; Deborah J. Nelson, Ph.D., University of Chicago.
Contact: Tom Hawkins
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences