NEW YORK, BRONX (ORDO News) — Scientists at the UF Scripps Herbert Wertheim Institute for Biomedical Innovation and Technology have discovered two new enzymes with unusual properties that could revolutionize drug discovery.
Enzymes known as “cofactor-free oxygenases” are able to extract oxygen from the air and incorporate it into new compounds without the participation of metals or other cofactors.
The discovery opens up new opportunities for studying and producing complex natural chemicals, including potential cures for diseases such as cancer.
Natural products have played a significant role in the history of drug discovery, with nearly half of the antibiotics and anticancer drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration derived from or inspired by them.
Professor Ben Shen, director of the Natural Products Discovery Center at UF Scripps Herbert Wertheim Institute, emphasizes the importance of nature’s chemistry in creating complex natural products.
Using modern genomic technologies and computational tools, scientists can understand the chemistry and enzymology underlying these natural products at unprecedented speed.
The newly discovered cofactor-free oxygenases are a revolutionary development in the field of drug discovery. These enzymes have the unique ability to synthesize protective substances by extracting oxygen from the air and incorporating it into new compounds.
Unlike traditional enzymes, which require metals or other cofactors to drive chemical reactions, these enzymes offer a more efficient and streamlined approach.
This new method of synthesis gives organisms a survival advantage, allowing them to resist infections and invaders.
The discovery of the enzymes TnmJ and TnmK2 has solved a long-standing mystery surrounding the effects of the potential antibiotic and anticancer compound tiancimycin A.
These enzymes allow bacteria to produce compounds that target DNA, making them highly effective in fighting viruses, germs and even cancer.
Dr. Chun Gui and Dr. Edward Kalkreuter, postdoctoral researchers and first authors of the study, highlight the importance of these enzymes for advancing scientific research.
They compare enzymes to essential tools in a woodworker’s arsenal, providing scientists with new ways to create useful substances. Factor-free oxygenases have enormous potential for the development of new drugs and therapeutic approaches.
The discovery of these new enzymes was a major milestone in drug discovery. Thanks to their unique properties and ability to synthesize complex natural chemical compounds, scientists now have a powerful tool at their disposal.
The results of this research not only shed light on the fascinating world of natural products, but also offer hope for the development of new treatments for diseases such as cancer. The chemistry of nature continues to inspire and guide scientists in their search for innovative solutions.
News agencies contributed to this report, edited and published by ORDO News editors.
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