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Combating drug resistance in cancer cells: Cooperative effect of green tea and turmeric with chemotherapeutic drug

Nair et al. | Jul 27, 2020

Combating drug resistance in cancer cells: Cooperative effect of green tea and turmeric with chemotherapeutic drug

The major drawback of chemotherapy regimens for treating cancer is that the cancerous cells acquire drug resistance and become impervious to further dose escalation. Keeping in mind the studied success of herbal formulations with regard to alternative treatments for cancer, we hypothesized that the use of a chemotherapeutic drug and proprietary herbal formulation, HF1, would combat this phenomenon when administered with common chemotherapeutic drug 5FU. Results demonstrated a cooperative effect between HF1 and 5FU on the drug resistant cell line, implying that administration of HF1 with 5FU results in cell death as measured by MTT assay.

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Developing anticholinergic drugs for the treatment of asthma with improved efficacy

Wong et al. | Jul 05, 2023

Developing anticholinergic drugs for the treatment of asthma with improved efficacy
Image credit: Wong et al.

Anticholinergics are used in treating asthma, a chronic inflammation of the airways. These drugs block human M1 and M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, inhibiting bronchoconstriction. However, studies have reported complications of anticholinergic usage, such as exacerbated eosinophil production and worsened urinary retention. Modification of known anticholinergics using bioisosteric replacements to increase efficacy could potentially minimize these complications. The present study focuses on identifying viable analogs of anticholinergics to improve binding energy to the receptors compared to current treatment options. Glycopyrrolate (G), ipratropium (IB), and tiotropium bromide (TB) were chosen as parent drugs of interest, due to the presence of common functional groups within the molecules, specifically esters and alcohols. Docking score analysis via AutoDock Vina was used to evaluate the binding energy between drug analogs and the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. The final results suggest that G-A3, IB-A3, and TB-A1 are the most viable analogs, as binding energy was improved when compared to the parent drug. G-A4, IB-A4, IB-A5, TB-A3, and TB-A4 are also potential candidates, although there were slight regressions in binding energy to both muscarinic receptors for these analogs. By researching the effects of bioisosteric replacements of current anticholinergics, it is evident that there is a potential to provide asthmatics with more effective treatment options.

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Development of a novel machine learning platform to identify structural trends among NNRTI HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Ashok et al. | Jun 24, 2022

Development of a novel machine learning platform to identify structural trends among NNRTI HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors

With advancements in machine learning a large data scale, high throughput virtual screening has become a more attractive method for screening drug candidates. This study compared the accuracy of molecular descriptors from two cheminformatics Mordred and PaDEL, software libraries, in characterizing the chemo-structural composition of 53 compounds from the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) class. The classification model built with the filtered set of descriptors from Mordred was superior to the model using PaDEL descriptors. This approach can accelerate the identification of hit compounds and improve the efficiency of the drug discovery pipeline.

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Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment

Steger et al. | Feb 21, 2023

Association of agenesis of the corpus callosum with epilepsy and anticonvulsant drug treatment
Image credit: Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC) is a birth defect where an infant’s corpus callosum, the structure linking the brain’s two hemispheres to allow interhemispheric communication, fails to develop in a typical manner during pregnancy. Existing research on the connection between ACC and epilepsy leaves significant gaps, due to the lack of focused investigation. One important gap is the degree to which ACC may impact the course of epilepsy treatment and outcomes. The present study was conducted to test the hypotheses that epilepsy is highly prevalent among individuals with ACC, and that those with both ACC and epilepsy have a lower response rate to anticonvulsant drugs than other patients treated with anticonvulsant drugs. A weighted average of epilepsy rates was calculated from a review of existing literature, which supported the hypothesis that epilepsy was more common among individuals with ACC (25.11%) than in the general population (1.2%). An empirical survey administered to 57 subjects or parents of subjects showed that rate of intractable epilepsy among study subjects with both ACC and epilepsy was substantially higher than the rate found in the general population, indicating that individuals with both conditions had a lower response rate to the anticonvulsant drugs. This study contributes novel results regarding the potential for concurrence of ACC and epilepsy to interfere with anticonvulsant drug treatment. We also discuss implications for how medical professionals may use the findings of this study to add depth to their treatment decisions.

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Fitness social media is positively associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs among young men

Tamaki et al. | Feb 01, 2024

Fitness social media is positively associated with the use of performance-enhancing drugs among young men
Image credit: Samuel Girven

Here the authors investigated the relationship between fitness-related social media and the high usage of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) specifically by men in the US age 18-35. In a survey with 149 participants they identified that young men that use fitness-related social media are more likely to use PEDs. Their results suggest the necessity to consider potential risk behaviors which may be related to social media consumption.

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Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Jiang et al. | Sep 08, 2022

Assessing CDK5 as a Nanomotor for Chemotactic Drug Delivery

Enzyme chemotaxis is a thermodynamic phenomenon in which enzymes move along a substrate concentration gradient towards regions with higher substrate concentrations and can be used to steer nanovehicles towards targets along natural substrate concentrations. In patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a gradient of tau protein forms in the bloodstream. Tau protein is a substrate of the enzyme CDK5, which catalyzes the phosphorylation of tau protein and can travel using chemotaxis along tau protein gradients to increasing concentrations of tau and amyloid-beta proteins. The authors hypothesized that CDK5 would be able to overcome these barriers of Brownian motion and developed a quantitative model using Michaelis-Menten kinetics to define the necessary parameters to confirm and characterize CDK5’s chemotactic behavior to establish its utility in drug delivery and other applications.

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Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Gupta et al. | Feb 04, 2014

Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: An Analysis of Drug Therapy Options through Interaction Maps and Graph Theory

Cancer is often caused by improper function of a few proteins, and sometimes it takes only a few proteins to malfunction to cause drastic changes in cells. Here the authors look at the genes that were mutated in patients with a type of pancreatic cancer to identify proteins that are important in causing cancer. They also determined which proteins currently lack effective treatment, and suggest that certain proteins (named KRAS, CDKN2A, and RBBP8) are the most important candidates for developing drugs to treat pancreatic cancer.

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Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network for synthesizing chemically feasible molecules

Sikdar et al. | Jan 10, 2023

Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network for synthesizing chemically feasible molecules

Current drug discovery processes can cost billions of dollars and usually take five to ten years. People have been researching and implementing various computational approaches to search for molecules and compounds from the chemical space, which can be on the order of 1060 molecules. One solution involves deep generative models, which are artificial intelligence models that learn from nonlinear data by modeling the probability distribution of chemical structures and creating similar data points from the trends it identifies. Aiming for faster runtime and greater robustness when analyzing high-dimensional data, we designed and implemented a Hybrid Quantum-Classical Generative Adversarial Network (QGAN) to synthesize molecules.

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