Leyla Raiani
Feb 23, 2012

New class of compounds stops disease-fueling inflammation in lab tests

Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a unique compound that blocks inflammation-causing molecules in blood cells known to fuel ailments like cancer and cardiovascular disease, without causing harmful toxicity. Past attempts to identify new compounds that tamp down so-called reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules in cells have been complicated by toxicity issues and a lack of specificity in targeting molecular processes. Researchers report in the Feb. 24 issue of Chemistry and Biology that they have overcome this problem by using computer-assisted drug design -- verified by laboratory tests on human and mouse inflammatory cells -- to precisely target a single component of an enzyme network called NOX2. The enzyme network drives ROS production in immune system white blood cells. The eventual goal, researchers say, is establishing new small-molecule inhibiting drugs that can stop excessive inflammation and treat a number of inflammation-mediated diseases that need improved therapies