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Indian origin researcher working to beat multi drug resistant bacteria

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image source: news.stlpublicradio.org

New Delhi, March 25: Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed novel peptide-like analogs or peptoids that have the similar antimicrobial properties as peptides but more robust.

The discovery, paves the way for creation of new generation antibiotics that can defeat the so called multi-drug resistant bacteria “superbugs”.

Like proteins, peptides are chains of amino acids that participate in the metabolic system of living organisms and the immune system.

They are the first line of defence against a broad range of pathogens, and are released by the body in the earliest stage of infection.

These peptides are attractive antimicrobials. However, they degrade in the body and have short half-life.

Rinki Kapoor along with her PhD advisor and professor Annelise Barron of Stanford University studied novel mimics of antimicrobial peptides or peptoids for their antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.

In one of their studies, they showed that peptoids kill resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the leading bug causing hospital associated infections.

The group synthesised seven different peptoids and compared their activity with three different antibiotics.

In a separate study, Kapoor and Barron also revealed that peptoids kill resistant Mycobacteria, bacteria responsible for causing Tuberculosis, a leading cause of death worldwide. In this study, published in the journal of antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (AAC), they evaluated the efficacy of six different peptoids against Mycobacteria.

“These molecules are currently under research and development and merit further studies to investigate their potential as new class of drugs for treating resistant bacterial infections,” Kapoor told reporters. (IANS)

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Protein Identified Enables New Drugs to Increase ‘Good Cholesterol’ Levels

Importantly, ORP2 could also be targeted to fight cancer. 

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ORP2 could offer a new strategic line of research and possibly succeed where the use of statins in this area hasn't, Yang noted.

Researchers have identified a protein, known as ORP2, responsible for transporting cholesterol inside cells that opens the way for new drugs to increase the body’s ‘good cholesterol’ levels.

ORP2 can increase the amount of cholesterol in cells, a process called cholesterol efflux. We think this pathway will be very important for the development of a drug to increase this good cholesterol, said Rob Yang, Professor from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Until now, drugs including statins have targeted bad cholesterol (LDL) by inhibiting its synthesis in the liver in an effort to mitigate the risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, while statins are effective at lowering LDL levels, they do little to increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and there is no other drug in use that can significantly boost the human body’s HDL levels.

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Researchers have identified a protein, known as ORP2, responsible for transporting cholesterol inside cells that opens the way for new drugs to increase the body’s ‘good cholesterol’ levels. . VOA

Up to 90 per cent of a cell’s cholesterol is found at the cell’s plasma membrane, said the study published in the journal Molecular Cell.

“Knowing the molecules that deliver cholesterol to the plasma membrane itself is a huge step forward. The transport of cholesterol to the plasma membrane is the key to the generation of HDL.

If such a drug could be developed, it would not replace statins, but would be used complementarily, with one drug used to reduce the bad cholesterol and the other to increase levels of the good, Yang suggested.

Also Read: Number of Students Opting for Science or Tech Are On Rise in India

Importantly, ORP2 could also be targeted to fight cancer.

Cancer, U.S.

Importantly, ORP2 could also be targeted to fight cancer.

The rampant and uncontrolled growth of cells that characterises cancer could be stopped in its tracks by reducing the amount of cholesterol produced.

ORP2 could offer a new strategic line of research and possibly succeed where the use of statins in this area hasn’t, Yang noted. (IANS)