TamiFlu

Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) is an antiviral drug marketed by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche. It belongs to a group of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors and can shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the type A and B strains of the flu, as well as bird flu.
How neuraminidase inhibitors works


Tamiflu targets a protein called neuraminidase that lives on the flu virus cells. This protein helps the flu virus break through the cell walls so it can move on to other cells and replicate itself. Tamiflu inhibits the neuraminidase protein, so that the virus can't leave the cell to infect other cells. Eventually, the virus dies.
How Tamiflu kills the virus

Tamiflu can't stop the flu entirely. However, studies have shown that if you take it within 48 hours of showing symptoms, it can shorten the duration of the flu (strains A and B). Patients with the flu who took it felt better 30 percent (or 1.3 days) faster than people who didn't take it . The drug also can help protect you from getting the flu if you're exposed to someone who has it. But Tamiflu can't prevent the spread of the disease, and it won't stop illnesses (like the common cold) that resemble the flu.

Sorafenib

Sorafenib (co-developed and co-marketed by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals as Nexavar),[1] is a drug approved for the treatment of primary kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma) and advanced primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma).




Sorafenib (a bi-aryl urea) is a small molecular inhibitor of several Tyrosine protein kinases (VEGFR and PDGFR) and Raf kinases (more avidly C-Raf than B-Raf).
(Protein kinases are overactive in many of the molecular pathways that cause cells to become cancerous. These pathways include Raf kinase, PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor), VEGF receptor 2 and 3 kinases and c Kit the receptor for Stem cell factor. )
Sorafenib is/was unique in targeting the Raf/Mek/Erk pathway (MAP Kinase pathway).
Sorafenib inhibits some intracellular serine/threonine kinases (e.g. C-Raf, wild-type B-Raf and mutant B-Raf).

Protein G B1 domain



The solution structure of the isolated fragments 1-20 (beta-hairpin), 21-40 (alpha-helix) and 41-56 (beta-hairpin), corresponding to all the secondary structure elements of the protein G B1 domain, have been studied by circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. In the protein G B1-(1-20) fragment turn-like folded structures were detected in water though low populated. In the presence of 30% aqueous trifluoroethanol there is a complex conformational behaviour in which a helical structure at the N-terminal half is formed in equilibrium with random and native-like beta-hairpin structures. The peptide corresponding to the alpha-helix is predominantly unstructured in water, while in 30% trifluoroethanol it highly populates a native alpha-helical conformation, including a (i,i + 5) interaction between hydrophobic residues at its C-terminus. The third peptide was previously reported to form a monomeric native beta-hairpin structure in water . We show in this work that the beta-hairpin structure is further stabilized in 30% trifluoroethanol and destabilised in the presence of 6 M urea, though some folded structure persists even in these highly denaturing conditions. The conformational properties of these peptides suggests that the second beta-hairpin could be an important folding initiation site on which the rest of the chain folds. Reconstitution experiments failed to show evidence of interaction between the peptides. Algorithms designed to predict the helical and extended conformations of peptides in aqueous solution successfully describe the complicated behaviour of these peptides. Comparison of the predicted and the experimental results with those for a structurally related protein, ubiquitin, shows very strong similarities, the main difference being the switch of the most stable beta-hairpin from the N-terminus in ubiquitin to the C-terminus in protein G.

Mast cell Animation

A mast cell (or mastocyte) is a resident cell of several types of tissues and contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Although best known for their role in allergy and anaphylaxis, mast cells play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing and defense against pathogens.


Bookmark and Share  Subscribe in a reader

Mast cells were first described by Paul Ehrlich in his 1878 doctoral thesis on the basis of their unique staining characteristics and large granules. These granules also led him to the mistaken belief that they existed to nourish the surrounding tissue, and he named them "mastzellen," a German term, meaning "feeding-cells." Nowadays, they are considered part of the immune system. Mast cells are very similar to basophil granulocytes (a class of white blood cells) in blood; the similarities between mast cells and basophils has led many to speculate that mast cells are basophils that have "homed in" on tissues. However, current evidence suggests that they are generated by different precursor cells in the bone marrow. Nevertheless, both mast cells and basophils are thought to originate from bone marrow precursors expressing the CD34 molecule. The basophil leaves the bone marrow already mature while the mast cell circulates in an immature form, only maturing once in a tissue site. The tissue site an immature mast cell chooses to settle in probably determines its precise characteristics.



Two types of mast cells are recognized, those from connective tissue and a distinct set of mucosal mast cells. The activities of the latter are dependent on T-cells.

Mast cells are present in most tissues in the vicinity of blood vessels, and are especially prominent near the boundaries between the outside world and the internal milieu, such as the skin, mucosa of the lungs and digestive tract, as well as in the mouth, conjunctiva and nose.


Physiology
Mast cells play a key role in the inflammatory process. When activated, a mast cell rapidly releases its characteristic granules and various hormonal mediators into the interstitium. Mast cells can be stimulated to degranulate by direct injury (e.g physical or chemical), cross-linking of IgE receptors, or by activated complement proteins.

Mast cells express a high-affinity receptor (FcεRI) for the Fc region of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), the least-abundant member of the antibodies. This receptor is of such high affinity that binding of IgE molecules is essentially irreversible. As a result, mast cells are coated with IgE. IgE is produced by B-cells (the antibody-producing cells of the immune system). IgE molecules, like all antibodies, are specific to one particular antigen.

In allergic reactions, mast cells remain inactive until an allergen binds to IgE already in association with the cell (see above). Allergens are generally proteins or polysaccharides. The allergen binds to the Fab part of the IgE molecules on the mast cell surface. It appears that binding of two or more IgE molecules (this is called crosslinking) is required to activate the mast cell; the steric changes lead to a slight disturbance to the cell membrane structure, causing a complex sequence of reactions inside the cell that lead to its activation. Although this reaction is most well understood in terms of allergy, it appears to have evolved as a defense system against intestinal worm infestations (tapeworms, etc).

The molecules thus released into the intercellular environment include:

  • preformed mediators (from the granules):
  • histamine (2-5 pg/cell)
  • proteoglycans, mainly heparin (active as anticoagulant)
  • serine proteases
  • newly formed lipid mediators (eicosanoids):
  • prostaglandin D2
  • leukotriene C4
  • cytokines

Histamine dilates post capillary venules, activates the endothelium, and increases blood vessel permeability. This leads to local edema (swelling), warmth, redness, and the attraction of other inflammatory cells to the site of release. It also irritates nerve endings (leading to itching or pain). Cutaneous signs of histamine release are the "flare and wheal"-reaction. The bump and redness immediately following a mosquito bite are a good example of this reaction, which occurs seconds after challenge of the mast cell by an allergen.

The other physiologic activities of mast cells are much less well-understood. Several lines of evidence suggest that mast cells may have a fairly fundamental role in innate immunity -- they are capable of elaborating a vast array of important cytokines and other inflammatory mediators, they express multiple "pattern recognition receptors" thought to be involved in recognizing broad classes of pathogens, and mice without mast cells seem to be much more susceptible to a variety of infections.