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A compound to control a hormone that can damage the heart during cardiac arrest has been developed by Dutch researcher Luc Roumen.
The object is to block the enzyme cytochrome P450 11B2, which is responsible for the production of the damaging hormone aldosterone.
To ensure minimum side effects, Roumen has produced a highly selective drug that blocks 11B2 but not the related enzyme 11B1, which is involved in the production of other important hormones.
Roumen examined the three-dimensional structure of both enzymes using computer simulations, and was able to analyse the dynamic behaviour of the enzymes and a number of candidate drugs.
By optimising the interactions between the enzyme and a potential drug it was then possible to develop a number of very active and selective compounds.
These have been manufactured by the companies Schering-Plough and SyMO-Chem BV and a drug patent has been applied for.
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