A Korean research team has successfully developed a technology to make a platform that can facilitate drug-metabolizing enzyme activities using light. The technique is likely to produce cardiovascular disease medications and stomach ulcer drugs like omeprazole in the future.
A research team headed by Park Chan-bum, professor of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and Jung Ki-joon, professor of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST, announced on Jan. 21 that they have succeeded in developing a new platform that induces drug-metabolizing enzyme activities with light.
The research team was able to make a light-driven platform for whole-cell P450 photo-biocatalysis using Eosin Y (EY) as a photosensitizer instead of NADPH. The exposure of low-priced EY to light facilitates the activities of Cytochromes P450 (CYPs), which produces expensive metabolites.
CYPs are enzymes that trigger the oxidation response, which is important in the metabolic process of organisms. They are considered to be core elements in the process of developing new drugs, since they are involved in more than 75 percent of drug metabolism. To activate CYPs, NADPH is needed, but it is expensive. Therefore, CYPs have only been used in the laboratory.
Professor Park said, “Our study contributed to the easier use of CYPs, which have been used in limited areas.” He added, “I think that our technology will help CYPs produce value-added pharmaceutical substances.”
The research findings were published online as the back cover article in the Jan. 12 issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition, a weekly scientific journal published by Wiley-VCH.