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Parkinson’s Drugs Show Promise Against Tuberculosis

Last Updated: July 06, 2009.

Two existing drugs used for Parkinson's disease may be useful in treating drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis, according to research published July 3 in PLoS Computational Biology.

MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Two existing drugs used for Parkinson's disease may be useful in treating drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis, according to research published July 3 in PLoS Computational Biology.

Sarah L. Kinnings, of the University of York in the United Kingdom, and colleagues describe their efforts to use their chemical systems biology approach to seek potential treatments for multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis.

The authors write that the drugs entacapone and tolcapone were predicted to bind to and inhibit M. tuberculosis enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase, which is needed for synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. In vitro experimentation using Comtan tablets, containing entacapone, showed that the drug could inhibit M. tuberculosis at a concentration well below the toxic level.

"The continuing emergence of M. tuberculosis strains resistant to all existing, affordable drug treatments means that the development of novel, effective and inexpensive drugs is an urgent priority," Kinnings and colleagues conclude. "Entacapone may adopt different inhibition mechanisms from the first- and second-line drugs that result in multi-drug resistant and extensively drug resistant M. tuberculosis strains. Moreover, it has an excellent safety profile with few side effects, and is commercially available. Therefore, entacapone can potentially be used as a lead compound to develop a new class of anti-tubercular drugs."

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