Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone

Sep 04, 2007

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a long-acting growth hormone for use in human therapy. The new discovery could mean that children and adults with growth hormone disorders will not have to have injections as often, reducing the need for daily treatments.

Most hormones and cytokines have a short life and therefore require frequent injections as therapy. However, the new technology developed by the multidisciplinary team at Sheffield, means that scientists and clinicians are able to generate effective, long-acting hormones which promote growth over a minimum of ten days, after just one injection.

The research, published in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine, shows that the hormones are able to act for longer because of unique characteristics in the new molecules created in Sheffield.

Hormones normally circulate in blood attached to binding proteins that prevent their clearance from the circulation and prolong their biological action. The new molecules created by the scientists, however, are able to bind to each other in a head-to-tail configuration, doubling their molecular mass in the bloodstream. This delays their absorption and elimination from the blood and therefore generates a hormone that will last for a longer period of time.

Professor Richard Ross, from the University´s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said: "We are very excited by these results and believe this technology will bring significant benefit to patients. Children and adults with growth hormone deficiency have to give themselves daily injections and it is hoped that the new technology will reduce the number of times they have to do this to once every two weeks, or even once a month."

Professor Peter Artymiuk, a structural biologist in the University´s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, added: "Although we are only in the early stages of the drug development process, and any drugs resulting from this research are several years away from approval, it´s wonderful to see the science translate from the computer screen to what we hope will be real benefits for patients."

Professor Jon Sayers, from the University´s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, commented: "We believe that the technology can also be applied to treat inflammatory diseases such as multiple-sclerosis, cancer and metabolic diseases."

Source: University of Sheffield

Explore further: The impact of bacteria in our guts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

On the trail of fire ant pheromones

Apr 14, 2014

The painful sting of the red imported fire ant is not easily forgotten. Delivered in large numbers, the stings can kill small animals. Humans that develop hypersensitivity to the ants' venom are at risk as ...

Engineered salmon may be a tough sell

Apr 03, 2014

The Obama administration has stalled for more than four years on deciding whether to approve a fast-growing salmon that would be the first genetically modified animal approved for human consumption.

Recommended for you

The impact of bacteria in our guts

15 hours ago

The word metabolism gets tossed around a lot, but it means much more than whether you can go back to the buffet for seconds without worrying about your waistline. In fact, metabolism is the set of biochemical ...

Stem cell therapies hold promise, but obstacles remain

16 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—In an article appearing online today in the journal Science, a group of researchers, including University of Rochester neurologist Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., review the potential and ch ...

New hope in fight against muscular dystrophy

17 hours ago

Research at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology offers hope to those who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an incurable, debilitating disease that cuts young lives short.

Biologists reprogram skin cells to mimic rare disease

Aug 21, 2014

Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient's skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. ...

User comments : 0