North West | Technology & innovation

New chemical may help remedy human cells by controling drug activity

15 Jul '21
Researchers at the St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU) and their colleagues from the local Research Center for Environmental Safety have reportedly discovered a brand new organic compound that shows variable activity when impacted by the light.

This compound is said to inhibit the activity of cholinesterase, a key human enzyme that is responsible for the functioning of many systems in the human body. Existing substances that possess similar properties are used to treat, for example, Alzheimer’s and a range of eye disorders.

The new discovery in St. Petersburg is expected to help “turn off” the biological activity of a drug using a laser, thus making therapeutic impact on human cells as safe and precise as possible.

From experience, physicians and patients cannot “turn” most modern drugs off or on at will; a pill taken by a patient remains biologically active for as long as it travels along the human body—and even after that. There is a widespread problem, for example, of deactivating antibiotics that inevitably get into the environment from the human body and stimulate rapid development of new antibiotic-resistant germ strains.

One of promising ways of solving the problem may be the development of photopharmacology, a nascent segment of pharmaceutical sciences which studies substances capable of “turning off and on” when impacted by the light. Photopharmacological agents typically consist of two parts: a therapeutic drug per se and a photoactive “switcher.” The St. Petersburg team, however, has apparently managed to develop a compound that performs both functions at the same time.
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Locations: St. Petersburg

Tags: light (83) / St. Petersburg State University (10) / photopharmacology (0) / organic compound (0) / cholinesterase (0) /

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