Can heat resistant enzyme produce more cost effective drugs?
Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions inside cells. The human body is home to thousands of enzymes that perform vital functions such as the digestion of fat and the breakdown of sugar into glucose.
The paper, co-authored by UT Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology Associate Professor Nitin Jain and student Sara Lemmonds, who has since graduated, looks closely at Cytochrome P450, an enzyme that occurs naturally in the body and other environments. This enzyme is critical in metabolizing over 90 percent of all pharmaceutical drugs.
When a drug is administered, it is usually not used up entirely by the body, and the residual excess can become toxic. "It is P450's job to bind with the leftover drug in the liver to ensure that it is safely excreted," explained Lemmonds.
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