Monday, March 24, 2014

New path found for safer drugs treating heart disease, cancer

The researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered a new way for group of drugs called ligand-mimicking integrin inhibitors that could potentially treat various diseases including heart attacks and cancer metastasis. The report published in journal Nature Structural & Molecular the scientists have explained a structural basis for the designing of a new and safer integrin inhibitors. Integrins are basically the receptor proteins available on the surface of cells determining whether or not cells stick to adjacent cells surrounding extracellular matrix. The senior author, M. Amin Arnaout, MD, director of the MGH Leukocyte Biology Program and the Inflammation and Structural Biology Program explains, “Integrins have an intrinsic ability to shape-shift when they switch from an inactive to an active, adhesive state. Unfortunately, under some circumstances the integrin inhibitors that have been developed to date can inadventently induce this shape shifting, and use of these drugs has produced serious, sometimes fatal side effects such as excessive bleeding.”

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