New Scientist article 3.5K Shares Share Share A synthetic insulin-producing enzyme has been made by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The new enzyme, which was developed with the help of the NIAID, is called KENZYME, and the researchers say it could lead to a new class of therapeutics for treating diabetes.
“The use of enzymes for drug development is rapidly expanding,” said James S. Ollison, a postdoctoral fellow at NIAIDS.
“However, for many years, it has been difficult to make these enzymes commercially viable.
We are currently in the early stages of building this enzyme into a drug.”
To make the enzyme, the researchers first need to create a synthetic scaffold.
The researchers say the scaffold they developed contains a polymeric structure called a glycoprotein, which allows them to produce an insulin-specific protein called a peptide-1.
They then use a catalyst to convert the peptide to a peptidoglycan.
The researchers then create a structure in which the glycoproteins are attached.
When the enzyme is activated, it produces a series of phosphodiesterases, which act as a catalyst for the formation of a new polymer chain.
When activated, the peptidglycan bonds to the polymeric scaffold, creating a scaffold that can then be chemically treated to produce the enzyme.
Kenzymes can also be used to treat diabetes, but because of their inability to generate an insulin response, they are not effective for treating patients with diabetes, which is caused by a lack of insulin production in the pancreas.KENZymes have also been found to have an advantage over their insulin-based counterparts, because they can be manufactured in a large number of small factories and they are inexpensive.
However, it is not yet known how well they can produce insulin in a laboratory setting.
“Kenzymes are exciting because they are small, inexpensive and do not require the extensive development of complex machinery to create and use them,” said Kasey E. Miller, a professor of biochemistry at the University at Buffalo.
“The next frontier of therapeutics for diabetes is in the discovery and development of small manufacturing facilities for the production of enzymes, and a new approach for synthesizing enzymes that can be produced cheaply and easily.”
This discovery opens up the possibility of developing new, cost-effective and safer enzymes, including the ability to produce large quantities of insulin-inducing peptides, without the use of a large complex machinery,” Miller said.”
As we look forward to the development of new drugs and treatments, it will be critical to identify the most effective means to manufacture enzymes and to develop new methods for the synthesis of enzymes,” said Paul R. Ries, director of the National Institutes for Allergy & Infectious Disease (NIFA).