Our research project “Medicinal Redox Inorganic Chemistry” has been promoted to Emerging Fields Initiative of FAU.
The Chemistry & Engineering News has reported on our results as News of The Week: “New Biological Signaling Agent Identified“ !
Full story: C&EN, Volume 90 Issue 28 | p. 5 | News of The Week, Issue Date: July 9, 2012:
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is not just a toxic gas with a foul odor of rotten eggs. It is produced in our cells and is of physiological relevance. But what H2S is really doing on a molecular level is still unknown. Our resent results shed light on the role of this inorganic small molecule in biological systems. We have shown that H2S interacts with nitrogen species (NO, NO+ and NO–) and enables their efficient transfer through cell membranes in a form of a new shuttle molecule HSNO. In that way HSNO acts as a new redox signaling species that regulates basic life processes. These results open a new perspective for the pharmaceutical application of H2S and redox modulation of health and disease.
Medicinal Redox Inorganic Chemistry: Redox-Active Small Inorganic Molecules as Biological Mediators and Therapeutic Drugs
Increased challenges in health care (ageing populations, chronic disease, spiralling costs, etc.) urgently call for the development and exploitation of less conventional, non-carbon-based bioactive molecules that meet the biomedical requirements of the time ahead of us.
Chronic inflammation, pain and accelerated ageing are important problems in many autoimmune, autoinflammatory and infectious diseases. Modern cytokine inhibitors (“biologicals”) such as TNF-alpha blockers have profoundly improved the treatment of inflammation in autoimmune diseases, but they have major drawbacks. They are very expensive, are associated with severe infectious complications, and frequently lose their activity due to neutralizing antibodies.
Since reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), as well as sulfur containing low-molecular weight species play major roles in the pathogenesis of inflammation and nociception, we propose the development of redox-active metal complexes and small sulfur containing species that are capable to inactivate or modify ROS/RNS for the patient benefit: (a) as pharmacological tools for analyzing the function of ROS/RNS in (patho)physiological processes and (b) as new low-cost inorganic candidates for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases in an ageing population. Inorganic chemists, biochemists, and physical chemists, as well as medical/clinical experts of FAU are working together (coordinated by the Chair of Bioinorganic Chemistry) within this unique interdisciplinary research platform.