Searching for better ways to treat prostate disorders

Apr 16, 2012
Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger

Innovative new technology has been used to identify and profile a novel combination of proteins that may improve treatment for prostate disorders. The study will be published in the April 13th 2012 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Researchers from the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) and The University of Western Australia, in collaboration with the Monash Institute of in Melbourne, have used the novel G Protein-Coupled Receptor Heteromer Identification Technology.

Study senior author Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger co-invented this technology to identify and study 'G protein-coupled receptors', a family of 'receptors' that enable cells to respond to hormones and neurotransmitters. They are extremely important in treating disease and are the target of up to 50 per cent of all .

The technology was developed in the Laboratory for at WAIMR/UWA and assigned to the UWA spin-out company Dimerix Bioscience.

Associate Professor Pfleger, winner of the 2011 Australian Museum 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science, said G protein-coupled receptors were very important proteins on the outside of our cells that enabled signals from hormones and neurotransmitters to be transferred into the cell.

"Scientists now realise that these receptors do not work in isolation, but in particular combinations, which they call 'heteromers'," he said. "It is suggested that a number of side effects from drugs may result from not fully understanding which combinations form and what happens when they do."

Professor Pfleger said prostate disorders such as affected nearly every man at some point in his life. Better drugs with fewer side effects were needed to reduce or eliminate the need for in more serious cases, he said.

"This publication is itself the culmination of over four years of research and builds upon a decade of technological development in our laboratory," Professor Pfleger said.

"We hope that the identification of this novel combination of receptors, and the novel functioning that results from their interaction, will provide opportunities to develop better treatments for debilitating prostate disorders that affect so many ageing men."

Explore further: Video: How did life on Earth begin?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Effective prostate cancer treatment discovery

Feb 26, 2010

Monash University biomedical scientists have identified a new way to treat castrate resistant cells in prostate cancer sufferers - the most common cancer in Australian men.

UK scientists pave the way to tackling anxiety disorders

May 09, 2011

Anxiety disorders are severely debilitating, the commonest cause of disability in the US workplace, and a source of great anguish to individuals and their families. Although fear and anxiety are part of our ...

Beginning to see the light

Sep 29, 2008

( -- Scientists have detailed the active form of a protein which they hope will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of vision, and advance drug design.

Controlling movements with light

Jul 20, 2011

German researchers at the Ruhr-Universitaet have succeeded in controlling the activity of certain nerve cells using light, thus influencing the movements of mice. By changing special receptors in nerve cells of the cerebellum ...

Recommended for you

Chemical biologists find new halogenation enzyme

23 hours ago

Molecules containing carbon-halogen bonds are produced naturally across all kingdoms of life and constitute a large family of natural products with a broad range of biological activities. The presence of halogen substituents ...

Protein secrets of Ebola virus

Sep 15, 2014

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which has claimed more than 2000 lives, has highlighted the need for a deeper understanding of the molecular biology of the virus that could be critical in ...

Protein courtship revealed through chemist's lens

Sep 15, 2014

Staying clear of diseases requires that the proteins in our cells cooperate with one another. But, it has been a well-guarded secret how tens of thousands of different proteins find the correct dancing partners ...

Decoding 'sweet codes' that determine protein fates

Sep 15, 2014

We often experience difficulties in identifying the accurate shape of dynamic and fluctuating objects. This is especially the case in the nanoscale world of biomolecules. The research group lead by Professor Koichi Kato of ...

User comments : 0