New Amino Acid May Treat Schizophrenia 
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 New Amino Acid May Treat Schizophrenia

New Amino Acid May Treat Schizophrenia

August 22, 2001

New Amino Acid May Treat Schizophrenia

A new amino acid, called neo-tryptophan, has been created by researchers at Mayo
Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA; that may be useful for treating
schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease. A U.S. patent has issued on the amino acid
and any peptide that contains it.

The creation is based on research begun about 15 years ago by Dr. Elliott
Richelson, a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist at the Mayo Clinic. Dr.
Richelson became intrigued with the idea of developing neurotensin-like
compounds as possible anti-psychotic {*filter*}. These neurotensin analogs would
activate neruotensin receptors but would have longer-lasting effects than
neurotensin itself. Dr. Richelson and colleagues began to change systematically
the sequences of the 8-13 amino acid portion of the molecule.

In the process of developing about 80 neurotensin 8-13 analogs, they discovered
some features of the molecule conferred better activity at a human neurotensin
receptor than at a rat receptor. They figured out the structure of a substitute
for the tyrosine in the 11th position of the molecule that would fit better into
the human receptor and created an amino acid similar to tryptophan with a right
three-dimensional configuration to replace the tyrosine. When substituted for a
peptide, this new amino acid, called neo-tryptophan, markedly increased binding
of the peptide to the human receptor.

As a clinician, I know there is a definite need for new {*filter*} to treat
schizophrenia or Parkinsons disease, says Dr. Richelson. So, we are working hard
to get where we can test whether one of our compounds has clinical usefulness.
Clinical trials in human subjects may be underway by the end of the year.

By staff writers: 24/05/2001 Related Links: Mayo Clinic

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Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Mon, 22 Nov 2004 03:36:52 GMT
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