Rai P, Padala C, Poon V, et al. Statistical pattern matching facilitates the design of polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax and cholera toxins. Nature Biotech 2006 Apr 23 (early online publication) [Full text] Apr 24 NIH news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2006/Pages/AMD_06.aspx In test-tube experiments, the antitoxin was 10,000 times more potent than single peptides, the NIH said. The NIH-supported research was done by a team led by Ravi S. Kane, PhD, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and Jeremy Mogridge, PhD, of the University of Toronto. Their report was published Apr 23 in Nature Biotechnology. See also: The PA molecule has a number of sites that can bind to host cells, the NIH said. Therefore, Kane and colleagues created a molecule that can cling to PA at multiple sites. The protein-studded bubble they produced is called a peptide-functionalized liposome. “Just as a glove matches the shape of a hand more closely than a mitten, and so fits more snugly, the polyvalent inhibitor binds the toxin at multiple sites and is orders of magnitude more potent than an inhibitor that binds at a single site,” the agency said. “The multiple peptides on the functionalized liposome are arranged with the same average spacing as the binding sites of the PA molecule, which permits a firmer bond between the two, explains Dr Kane.” The researchers created a fatty bubble, studded with proteins, that binds to a key component of anthrax toxin at multiple sites, preventing it from attaching to host cells, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a news release. “This novel approach to the design of anthrax antitoxin is an important advance, not only for the value it may have in anthrax treatment, but also because this technique could be used to design better therapies for cholera and other diseases,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. The investigators used the same liposome-based technique to develop a polyvalent inhibitor of cholera toxin, which also worked well in test-tube experiments, the NIH said. As explained in the NIH release, the toxin produced by Bacillus anthracis has three parts: a protein called protective antigen (PA), which binds to receptors on target cell surfaces, and two enzymes. When PA binds to a host cell, it creates a pore that enables the enzymes to enter the cell. Apr 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) Scientists have come up with a new approach to neutralizing the toxin produced by anthrax bacteria and have tested it successfully in a small number of animals, according to a report published this week. The antitoxin was also tested in rats. When nine rats were simultaneously injected with anthrax toxin and relatively small doses of the new antitoxin, five of them remained healthy. When slightly higher doses of the inhibitor were used, eight of nine rats were protected. The journal article says the experiment was the first to show that a liposome-based polyvalent inhibitor works in animals. The team next plans to infect animals with B anthracis and allow the disease process to begin before treating them with the anthrax antitoxin, the agency said.
Go back to the e-newsletterSri Panwa, the pool villa resort and gastronomical destination on the south-eastern tip of Phuket, has launched a brand-new collection: The Habita. The new phase will comprise 30 Luxury Pool Suites and Penthouses, as well as a new food and beverage offering, Baba Chino, adding to its original seven suites, 52 villas and four international restaurants.The Habita at Sri Panwa follows the resort’s style of tropical modern design, with each suite and penthouse having its own infinity pool as well as panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. So as to make the most of Sri Panwa’s scenery, the new area has been carefully designed so as to create a symbiosis between natural beauty and modern architecture. The Habita’s iconic roof takes the form of an arching leaf while the interiors focus on nature with patterns resembling trees, while the natural breeze passing through the open planned design give guests the feeling of a living system.The new precinct will also house the resort’s fifth restaurant concept, Baba Chino, where renowned Thai Iron Chef, Chef Pom, has curated a menu based on his modern take on traditional Chinese cuisine with an inspired twist. The Habita will also feature Baba Shishi Lounge.Sri Panwa’s gastronomic concept, Baba, has an additional four locations situated across the resort, each providing a truly unique and exceptional international dining experience. Baba Soul Food uses only the freshest ingredients and unique cooking techniques to create locally inspired traditional Thai dishes, while Baba Poolclub boasts a more extensive menu selection offering a wide range of international cuisines, specialising in barbecued seafood and meat. Baba IKI is located on the second floor of Baba Poolclub and specialises in Japanese cuisine. Baba Nest is the resort’s premium cocktail bar, serving a selection of Mexican tapas and surrounded by unique 360-degree infinity pool and located on a platform at the top of the resort.The Habita also features the Forest Olympic-size waterfall pool and a dedicated kids’ pool, both located within a perfectly landscaped water garden, and the recently refurbished Cool Spa, with its new treatment rooms and dedicated wellness area.Go back to the e-newsletter