Virginia Commonwealth University Researchers Identify Structural Requirements Of Target Molecule For The Enzyme Linked To Inflammation In Humans
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studying the enzyme that triggers inflammation have found that it may be a target for a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, lung and colon cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. In the December issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, researchers examined the structural make-up of ceramide which is a target molecule for the enzyme known as ceramide kinase (CERK). CERK is able to recognize ceramide based on its structure. The interaction of CERK and ceramide is like a lock and key. They found that even a slight change in the structure of ceramide can significantly decrease CERK’s ability to identify its target and catalyze the reaction.