Scientists have found a new chemical in a medicinal tea brewed from the bark of a shrub that could help combat AIDS. The tea is extracted from the bark of mamala tree and can be utilized by tribal healers on the South Pacific Island to deal with hepatitis.
A means to isolate the compound and synthesise it that it is 100 times stronger has been discovered by the scientists. This new model of prostratin demonstrates promise in lab evaluations for both HIV from infecting cells and stirring dormant HIV viruses that are hiding inside individual latently infected cells.
Latent HIV mobile reservoirs are untouchable by now’s antiviral medicines. Antiviral drugs reduce active virus levels in patients’ blood and also keep patients healthy. But when patients stop the medicine, the hibernating HIV in reservoirs awakens to resupply active virus. Prostratin flushes HIV out of its mobile sanctuaries in order that antifungal drugs may strike and hopefully eradicate the HIV in the body.
Speaking in the American Chemical Society’s meeting in Indianapolis, Paul A Wender from Stanford University explained efficient new Methods of making prostratin. Wender and colleagues developed a way to make the tea ingredient, prostratin, in large quantities from readily available components.
Wender’s synthesis of prostratin opened the door to research on the substance and allowed his team to modify prostratin’s structure. “We finally have made synthetic versions of prostratin, known as analogs, that are 100 times more potent than the natural product,” Wender said.
Wender’s group also synthesised bryostatin, a substance that occurs naturally in sea creatures called bryozoans, and seems more powerful for AIDS and also have applications for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
“Bryostatin has demonstrated great promise in laboratory experiments as the foundation for development of possibly transformative drugs for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease as well as the eradication of HIV/AIDS,” Wender said.
Scientists have made simpler and more readily synthesised analogs of bryostatin that are up to 1,000-fold more powerful in flushing HIV out of its hiding places compared to prostratin.
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