With Rapa Nui molecule they seek to treat from cancer to Parkinson's

With Rapa Nui molecule they seek to treat from cancer to Parkinson's

Modified versions of rapamycin are being tested to treat diseases neurodegenerative and autoimmune and genetic. Chile joined in this race.

It's been 53 years since the discovery of a powerful molecule produced by the bacterium Streptomyces Hygroscopius, found by a Canadian expedition in the soil of Easter Island.

Known as rapamycin, in allusion to its origin rapa nui, this molecule with antifungal and antibiotic properties, used for decades as a potent immunosuppressant to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, improve the performance of cardiac stents to treat some types of cancer.

However, in recent years, after unraveling their mechanism of action, his reputation has soared. Numerous research centers have set their sights on rapamycin and studying its therapeutic potential for a multitude of diseases, many of which today have no cure.

For that are developing "rapalogos" or rapamycin analogues. It's modified rapamycin molecules so that they point to a more precise target within the cell. This makes them better drugs, more effective and capable of suppressing multiple adverse effects that rapamycin in its original form. These include increases blood sugar and cholesterol, metabolic disorders and risk of clots, which makes risky to use for extended periods.

Cleaning neurons

"There is a lot of research that suggests that new rapalogos we are developing have the potential to treat certain types of cancers of the breast and carcinoma of kidney cells, autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis. But also you could point to several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease, and some types of autism and rare genetic diseases, such as Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome. And has also been that the rapalogos can improve the immune response in older adults,"says"El Mercurio"Richard Marshak, CEO of Mount Tam Biotechnologies.

This American Research Centre has signed a Convention with the laboratory of Dr. Claudio Hetz, researcher from the center of Gerociencia, Mental health, and metabolism, and Co-Director of the biomedical Neuroscience Institute (BNI).

Thanks to this Alliance, and in collaboration with Dr. René Vidal, of the greater u., in the coming days his laboratory will begin to try a rapalogo for Parkinson's disease in mice.

"What we hope is that to manage on this drug, their neurons removed neurotoxicity that damages the brain and causes Parkinson's," Hetz said. As a result, expect animals to live more and without the motor symptoms of the disease.

If studies show the expected results, your next bet is to try rapalogos for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

For researchers, the great promise is that the rapalogos will help control diseases of aging. "Aging is the main risk factor for many diseases and rapamycin has shown that it is an elixir of youth," says Hetz, referring to a study published in 2009 in the journal Nature showed that mice that received rapamycin in their food extended their life expectancy by 15% and delayed the manifestation of signs of aging.

"To date, rapamycin is more powerful drugs to slow aging in animals, which could have a tremendous effect on public health to prevent many chronic diseases." CLAUDIO HETZ researcher GERO and BNI

Source: www.impresa.elmercurio.com