Is Methylene Blue a cure for a disease? [Published paper #2]

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=common-lab-dye-found-to-i

So there I was browsing through scientific websites looking for a topic to do my assignment on, and I came across a chemical that I’ve used in biology and chemistry labs before, and apparently it has properties that help in Huntington’s Disease.  This is being researched by Leslie Thompson, a neurobiologist at University of California–Irvine and her team. Leslie Thompson is in the picture below:

Imagehttp://faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=4708

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic disorder that disturbs muscle coordination and results in mental deterioration and psychiatric issues. It is usually recognizable in adults in their 30s and 40s. HD is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea. Huntington’s disease occurs when the C-A-G sequence of DNA base pairs repeats too often on the HTT gene, creating a long version of the Huntington protein, which therefore folds incorrectly and produces clumps in the brain. HTT is a protein that interacts with many other proteins as well as has many biological functions. HD is not caused by inadequate production of HTT, but by an accumulation of the toxic function mHTT. It is a neurodegenerative disease, which causes a gradual loss of structure or function or death of neurons.

Imagefolding.stanford.edu

Below is a microscope image of a neuron with inclusion (stained orange) caused by HD, image width 250 µm:

Imagehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington’s_disease

Methylene blue is said to disrupt the formation of mHTT protein clumps in HD. Methylene blue was used to treat ailments from cyanide poisoning to malaria from since 1897. However, Food and Drug administration has never officially acknowledged it as a therapy for any diseases or illness. There is currently no drug produced to stop HD progression. Methylene blue itself is not harmful to humans.

The research team is currently experimenting with flies and mice. Drosophila flies with mHtt gene were given food mixed with methylene blue for seven days. Results of the flies’ brains showed that protein clumps had been reduced by 87 percent compared with a control group. The mice with the mHTT gene were tested for mobility. The 2-month old treated mice demonstrated irregular clasping of their hind claws only 20 percent of the time in a reflex test, while the untreated mice clasped at a 60 percent rate. Less clasping meant healthier mice. However, the amount of mice used was not large enough to give statistically feasible results and the difference in the tests “dropped off” after 9 weeks.

Imagehight3ch.com

The research team says a lot more research on methylene blue is needed but they are hopeful because the early steps of clumping of the mHTT protein is significantly altered in test tubes, the flies and also the mice. They state that methylene blue may prevent mHTT from sticking to itself. Thompson highlights that “Methylene blue would absolutely require further testing in mouse models and would need safety and efficacy trial before it could be used for humans.”

Now think about the difference that a chemical we use as a stain and indicator..has the ability to save the millions of people that suffer from HD worldwide. Furthermore, what other chemicals purposes are being underrated and not utilized? I really hope that the clinical trials go well and methylene blue is approved as a therapy for Huntington’s Disease.

Imageblogs.nature.com

Glycolysis Quiz

Its quiz time once again..so put on your thinking caps and make me proud biochemists!

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1) What is the most regulated enzyme?

a)      Adolase

b)      Phosphofructokinase-1

c)       Phosphohexoseisomerase

d)      Enolase

e)      Pyruvate Kinase

2) What co-factor is needed for the conversion of Pyruvate to Acetyl-CoA?

a)      Mg2+

b)      TPP

c)       Cu2+

d)      Vitamin C

e)      All the above

3) What is the co-factor that all kinase enzyme require?

a)      Fe2+

b)      Cu2+

c)       Vitamin A

d)      TPP

e)      Mg2+

4) Which reaction is the only oxidation phase in glycolysis?

a)      Fructose-6-phosphate to Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate

b)      1,3-BPG to 3-Phosphoglycerate

c)       G3P to 1,3-BPG

d)      Phosphoenolpyruvate to Pyruvate

e)      Glucose to Glucose-6-Phosphate

5) In which reactions are ATP produced?

a)      1st and 10th reactions

b)      All reactions of the Energy Generation phase

c)       7th and 10th reactions

d)      Reactions vary according to cell

e)      ATP is produced in the Citric cycle and consumed in Glycolysis

6) In which reactions are ATP consumed?

a)      1st and 3rd reactions

b)      All reactions of the Energy Investment Phase

c)       2nd and 5th reactions

d)      ATP is only produced not consumed

e)      Glucose to Glucose-6-phosphate ONLY

7) Where does glycolysis occur in the cell?

a)      Cytosol

b)      Cytoplasm

c)       Mitochondria

d)      Nucleus

e)      Directly outside the cell

8) Multiple Answer MCQ:

Select the correct multiple choice answer using ONE of the keys A,B,C,D or E below:

a)      1 and 4 are correct

b)      2 and 3 are correct

c)       Only 4 is correct

d)      1 and 3 and 4 are correct

e)      2 and 4 are correct

8) Which reactions are irreversible?

1)      Glucose-6-Phosphate to Fructose-6-Phosphate

2)      Glucose to Glucose-6-phosphate

3)      DHAP to G3P

4)      Phosphoenolpyruvate to Pyruvate

9) Why is/are this/these reaction(s) irreversible?

a)      Backward reaction is not energetically feasible

b)      Not enough product is made for a reverse reaction

c)       Backward reaction produces too much heat

d)      Change in structure of product prevents reactants from being made.

e)      All of the above

10) What enzyme is used to convert Glucose-6-Phosphate to Fructose-6-Phosphate?

a)      Aldolase

b)      Enolase

c)       Phosphohexose isomerase

d)      Phosphofructokinase-1

e)      Glucose-6-Phosphase

11) What is the by-product when Enolase converts Phosphoglycerate to Phosphoenolpyruvate?

a)      NADH

b)      H2O

c)       ATP

d)      DHAP

e)      TPP

12) What happens to pyruvate when oxygen is unavailable?

a)      It is converted to L-Lactate

b)      It is converted to Ethanol and enters Citric cycle

c)       It is converted to Acetaldehyde and enters Citric cycle

d)      It is converted to Acetyl-CoA and enters Citric cycle

e)      All the reactions of Glycolysis are reversed

Enzymes Quiz (:

Its quiz time again! and i KNOW you are all excited! So lets go!

1. Antibodies with catalytic properties are called?

a) Izoenzymes

b) Holozymes

c) Abzymes

d) Co-factors

e)None of the above

2. Which is an example of inorganic co-factor?

a) Vitamin C

b) Au+

c) Ag+

d) Mg2+

e) Urea

3. The active enzyme is called?

a) Holoenzyme

b) Abzyme

c) Co-factor

d) Actenzyme

e) None of the above

4. What is the catalyst used in the Contact Process?

a) LDH

b) Vanadium (V) oxide

c) Fe

d) SDH

e) Silicon

5. Allosteric enzymes show what type of curve?

a) Sigmoid

b) Symmetrical Curve

c) Hyperbolic Curve

d) It produces a line, not curve

e) None of the above

6. When [S] is much less than km and velocity is proportional to [S], what is the rate of reaction?

a) Zero order

b) First order

c) Second order

d) Third order

e) None of the above

7. What is the competitive inhibitor of Malonate?

a) LDH

b) Succinate Dehydrogenase

c) HCl

d) Urea

e) Malonase

Multiple answer MCQ:

Select one of the correct multiple answer using ONE of the keys A,B,C,D or E as follows:

a)      ONLY 1 is correct

b)      2 and 3 ONLY are correct

c)       All options are correct

d)      1 and 4 ONLY are correct

e)      All except 1 are correct

8. Inhibitor that binds to the enzyme at a site besides active site is called?

1) Competitive

2) Uncompetitive

3) Non Competitive

4) Mixed Competitive

9. Why does allosteric enzymes have more than one active site?

a)  Multiple folding

b) Presence of hydrophobic interactions

c) New active sites form when inhibition occurs

d) Multiple polypeptide chains

e) Gene that produces active sites is mutated

10. What takes part in negative feedback mechanism?

a) Homotrophic effectors

b) Heterotrophic effectors

c) Both Homo trophic and heterotrophic effectors

d) Apoenzymes and Co-factors

e) Only inorganic catalyst

 

Amino acid and Proteins Quiz!

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1. About how many essential amino acids are there?

a) 21

b) 10

c) over 200

d) all the amino acids are essential

 

2. What does the ninhydrin reaction test for?

a) Reducing sugars

b) formation of peptide bonds

c) Amino acids

d) Proteins

3. How many amino acid residues does an oligopeptide have?

a) 25

b) 3.6

c) more than one, less than 10

d) 15

4. Which of the following is NOT a function of proteins?

a) Receptors

b) Channels

c) Storage

d) Warmth

5.  Which of the following is Not an example of fibrous proteins?

a) Enzymes

b) Bone

c) Skin

d) Cytoskeleton

6.  3.6aa per turn of alpha helix covers a distance of?

a) 50nm

b) 102nm

c) 54nm

d) 96nm

7. Bulky side chains causes what phenomenon?

a) Denaturation

b) Steric Hindrance

c) Destabilization

d) None of the above

8. Which amino acid has a cyclic R-group?

a) Proline

b) Cysteine

c) Glycine

d) Tyrosine

9. What bonds exists in secondary folding?

a) Disulphide Bonds

b) Hydrophobic Bonds

c) Hydrogen Bonds

d) All of the above

10. What chaotrope was used in Anfinsen’s Experiment?

a) Urea

b) GnHCL

c) H2SO4

d) Mercaptoethanol

Cells Quiz

Image

Sit back, relax, and take the quiz!

1) Which cell feature is responsible for providing energy?

a.Lysosome

b.Mitochondria

c.Endoplasmic reticulum

d.Nucleus

2) Where does replication of DNA take place in the cell?

a.Golgi Apparatus

b. Ribosome

c.Nucleus

d.Nucleolus

3)Which is not a feature of prokaryotes?

a.Cell Membrane

b.Cell Wall

c.Endoplasmic Reticulum

d.DNA

4)Which structure serves to package,process and export proteins in the cell?

a. RER

b.Nucleus

c.Golgi Apparatus

d.Mitochondria

5) What is the phenomenon below?

Image

a.Apoptisis

b.Enosymbiotic Theory

c.Phagocytosis

d.None of the above

6)What part of the cell manufactures proteins?

a.Ribosomes

b.Nucleus

c.Mitochondria

d.Cytoplasm

7)What feature is responsible for storing water?

a.Lysosome

b.Vacuole

c.Cytoplasm

d.Cell Wall

8)Why is the term ‘nuclear envelope’  used instead of ‘nuclear membrane’?

a. either term is correct

b.the enclosure is composed of two membranes

c. DNA membrane as well as nucleus membrane is considered

d. All of the above

9)Which cell feature transports ribosomes?

a.Cytoplasm

b.ER

c.Golgi Apparatus

d.Chlorophyll

10) Name the structure below:

Image

a. Chloroplast

b.Golgi Apparatus

c. Circular DNA

d. White blood cell