HOME >> MEDICINE >> NEWS
Enzyme structure holds key to cocaine, heroin metabolism

CHAPEL HILL -- A study led by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers the first molecular explanation of how the body metabolizes and detoxifies cocaine and heroin. "We show for the first time how humans initiate the breakdown and clearance of these dangerous narcotics," said Dr. Matthew R. Redinbo, assistant professor in the department of chemistry, and in the School of Medicine's department of biochemistry and biophysics.

"This work also has two potential applications. First, our results can be used to generate an efficient treatment for cocaine overdose. Second, the same system we describe can be engineered to detoxify chemical weapons, including sarin, soman, tabun and VX gases."

A report of the study, published online Monday (April 7) in Nature Structural Biology, presents the first crystal structure of the protein human carboxylesterase 1, or hCE1.

The protein, an enzyme, is a broad-spectrum bioscavenger found throughout the body - in the liver, small intestine, kidney, lungs, testes and scavenger cells. It also circulates to a lesser extent in human blood plasma.

In their report, Redinbo and his group describe how hCE1 is responsible for metabolizing the first step of cocaine breakdown in the body and the first two steps of heroin breakdown. The researchers determined the crystal structure of the enzyme in complexes with analogues of cocaine and heroin.

They found the enzyme could bind to two cocaine molecules simultaneously, but that it specifically generates the primary metabolic breakdown product (metabolite) of cocaine. This indicates that the enzyme holds "significant promise in the treatment of acute cocaine overdose," the report said.

"We need to engineer a more active form of the enzyme that is specific for cocaine. We can do this by generating a small number of changes in the amino acid sequence that would increase the metabolic efficiency," Redinbo said.

When injected into an over
'"/>

Contact: Leslie H. Lang
llang@med.unc.edu
919-843-9687
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
8-Apr-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related medicine news :

1. Enzyme linked to mania and schizophrenia impairs higher brain functions
2. Enzyme prevents lung damage in premature infants
3. Enzyme found in blood vessels likely target to treat lung injury
4. Enzyme replacement therapy found to effectively treat patients with Fabry disease
5. Enzyme level linked to death after angioplasty
6. Enzyme halts muscle waste in mouse models of most-common childhood muscular dystrophy
7. Enzyme could provide continual fat burning
8. Cocaine addicts show reduced brain structure that underlies judgment
9. Brain structure implicated in early onset depression
10. Scientists grow neurons using nanostructures
11. Drug improves brain structure in Alzheimers patients

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/11/2020)... ... 11, 2020 , ... "Deep Cover" star Laurence Fishburne is best known for ... add "host" to his repertoire with his role on TV's "In Depth" with Laurence ... the world today. Soon the show will delve into the culture and health benefits ...
(Date:8/9/2020)... ... , ... Dr. Angela Abraham has been appointed as the first-ever Diversity and ... leading the drive to foster a more equitable and bias-free NECO community. , In ... initiative led by Black Eyecare Perspective and dedicated to increasing Black presence in vision ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... ... Mary J's Cannabis , Kingston’s premium recreational cannabis shop, achieves retail ... , The store, which operates out of a 100-year-old house in downtown Kingston, ... the company plans to expand across Canada. , “At Mary J’s Cannabis, our ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... August 05, 2020 , ... Hypoglycemia (low ... prolonged length of hospital stay, or even death. A researcher at the VA ... Type 2 diabetes to see if the use of continuous glucose monitoring devices ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... August 04, 2020 , ... Total Spectrum, a company ... (ASD) in Wisconsin, is delighted to announce the grand opening of their ... newest center, Total Spectrum now proudly serves ten different locations across the Midwest. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/5/2020)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... August 04, 2020 , ... ... loved ones, has announced the Best Rehab Facilities in Akron, Ohio for 2020. The ... accompanying services and more. , According to recent studies , drug overdose ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... ... Fifty six percent of older adults think we need to invest more in Medicare ... according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). “Boosting funding ... says Mary Johnson, a Medicare, and Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... Cleaning and Disinfectant Programs: , Best Practices During COVID-19, An FDAnews Webinar, ... The task of maintaining a controlled cleanroom is never simple and COVID-19 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: