Chaperone proteins play an important role in protein folding in human cells and in bacteria and are promising new targets for drugs to treat cancer and Alzheimer's disease and for novel antiviral drugs and antibiotics. How existing drugs such as Viagra or Cialis and a derivative of the drug Celebrex, for example, can reduce the activity of a specific chaperone protein, with the potential for anti-tumor and anti-Alzheimer's disease effects, is described in a Review article in DNA and Cell Biology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the DNA and Cell Biology website until April 9, 2015.
In the article "HSPA5/Dna K May Be a Useful Target for Human Disease Therapies", Laurence Booth, Jane Roberts, and Paul Dent, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, provide a comprehensive discussion of the HSPA5/Dna K chaperone protein and the published evidence for its role in various human diseases. The authors describe how OSU-03012, an experimental compound derived from the drug celecoxib (Celebrex) interacts with Viagra or Cialis to reduce levels of chaperone proteins. Reduced levels of HSPA5 and Dna K can interfere with virus replication, promote bacterial cell death, and even make drug-resistant "superbugs" susceptible to existing antibiotics.
"Drugs like Celebrex and Viagra are readily available and generally recognized as safe. This study by Booth and colleagues may lead to new applications of these relatively new medicines," says Carol Shoshkes Reiss, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, of DNA and Cell Biology and Professor, Departments of Biology and Neural Science, New York University, NY. "The potential impact, if the experiments described are translatable to human disease, could be paradigm-shifting. The potential applications are serious antibiotic resistant infections, chemotherapy-resistant cancers, and neurodegenerative disease ranging from Parkinson's disease to Huntington's or Alzheimer's disease."
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News