The team of researchers from University of Oregon recently created molecules that have capability of deliver healing power to damage and under stress cells like the ones that lead to heart attacks. The research was carried out at a cellular level inside the laboratories which is quite distant from reality but included the organic molecules design that breaks into parts to bring in hydrogen sulfide whenever it is triggered by a specific set of conditions like enhanced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is one of the key reasons behind damaging of cells and can be related directly with serious health problems like cancer, cardiac problems, Parkinson’s as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
The co-author of this paper in parts and a professor of chemistry, Michael Pluth, says, “We have discovered that small organic molecules can be engineered to release a molecule called carbonyl sulfide, which is the most prevalent sulfur-containing molecule in the atmosphere, but more importantly converts rapidly to hydrogen sulfide under biological conditions. We developed and demonstrated a new mechanism to release small molecules that provide therapeutic hydrogen sulfide.”
Hydrogen Sulfide has been long known for its dangerous toxicity along with smell, however, it is produced in human body and plays an important role in cardiac health and molecular signaling. In the beginning, a few researchers made use of benzyl thiocarbamates for designing active organic molecules that releases carbonyl sulfide. For the other paper, the researcher Yu Zhao who also works in Pluth’s lab, accepted the molecule so that it stays stable and nontoxic till the cellular conditions allow it to release the carbonyl sulfide that is then converted into hydrogen sulfide through carbonic anhydrase enzymes inside the body.
Generation of restorative hydrogen sulfide in body has been the aim of several researchers all over world since years. Pluth says, “To do that we need to develop new chemistry. We are synthetic chemists. We make molecules with the goal of developing new research tools or therapeutic tools. As for treating a disease, we aren’t there yet, but these cell-based studies suggest that those types of protective effects might be possible.”
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