Oxidation May Be New Blood Pressure Regulator
One quarter of UK adults suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure). Despite being treated with potent medication, many never manage to get their blood pressure levels back to normal.
Scientists at King's College London have found a pathway which involves oxidation. You can read about this in the journal Science.
Oxidation is a term we usually associate with free radicals and oxidants, which are harmful and cause cell damage. However, oxidation is central to normal cell function, say the scientists.
PKG (protein kinase G) plays a crucial part in regulating our blood pressure. We know that nitric oxide, which is produced inside our blood vessels, is a vital part of this process. The scientists, lead by Joseph Burgoyne, have discovered a new way PKG can be regulated without nitric oxide being involved.
Hydrogen peroxide, the scientists found, triggers a bond between two amino acids which activate PKG - resulting in lower blood pressure. They say this discovery could eventually lead to new drugs which activate this new pathway.
They would like to see what role this new pathway has in events that take place before the onset of a heart attack.
"Cysteine Redox Sensor in PKGI Enables Oxidant-Induced Activation"
Joseph R. Burgoyne, Melanie Madhani, Friederike Cuello, Rebecca L. Charles, Jonathan P. Brennan, Ewald Schröder, Darren D. Browning, Philip Eaton
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1144318
Click here to view abstract online
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