Mutant enzymes help break cocaine habit

An enzyme modified to hydrolyse cocaine 1000 faster than it did before could form the basis of the first medicinal treatment for cocaine addiction. Not only can the enzyme swiftly chop cocaine into inactive metabolites but modification of the enzyme has not affected its selectivity towards other natural substrates.

A treatment for cocaine abuse could be on the horizon © Shutterstock

A treatment for cocaine abuse could be on the horizon © Shutterstock

Cocaine is one the most widely used illegal drugs in the world. Unlike many other commonly abused substances, there are no proven medications available to treat cocaine addition. The health consequences of cocaine abuse are severe and addicts can cause significant societal problems. Finding an addiction treatment is therefore of the utmost importance.

Substrate selectivity of high-activity mutants of human butyrylcholinesterase
Chang-Guo Zhan et al.
Org. Biomol. Chem., 2013, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3OB41713A

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

*