< Gold Nano-particles Present New Possibilities for Treating Gout > (March 22)
- New drugs may be on horizon for treating gout, kidney disorders
The Ministry announced that a "new treatment method has been discovered that uses gold nano-particles, capable of breaking down toxins in the body when administered together with biopharmaceutical gout medicine to reduce the side-effects and enhance the effectiveness of the treatment."
The study was carried out with support from the Ministry's Basic Research Program (Individual Researcher) by a team led by Professor Kwon In-chan of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology. The results of the study were published in the March 13 issue of Scientific Report, an international academic journal.
- Paper: Synergistic Degradation of a Hyperuricemia-Causing Metabolite Using One-Pot Enzyme-Nanozyme Cascade Reactions
Gout is a condition caused by the abnormal accumulation of uric acid in the body; uricolytic enzymes, used to treat gout, produce hydrogen peroxide in the process of breaking down uric acid. The byproduct oxidizes iron in hemoglobin, reducing the ability of blood to carry oxygen and causing side-effects such as methemoglobinemia in some patients with a reduced ability to break down hydrogen peroxide accumulation. Removing the excess substance is thus necessary for enhancing the effectiveness of uricolytic enzymes.
The study revealed that, among several nano-particles known to be capable of breaking down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen and thus removing the byproduct of uric acid metabolism, gold particles was an excellent candidate due to its benign effects on the body and chemical stability. Smaller gold nano-particles, the study found, were better at breaking down hydrogen peroxide due to the larger relative surface area, accelerating the process as much as fivefold.
The study showed the possible use of gold nano-particles together with biopharmaceuticals. for treating diseases, with the possibility of additional treatment combinations using nano-particles and drugs to treat not only gout but a wide variety of diseases.
Professor Kwon said, "The latest study used uricolytic enzymes together with gold nano-particles, and showed that the combined use of the two methods was effective in boosting the efficacy of the biopharmaceuticals. Although further research via animal and clinical trials will be needed, the breakthrough is significant for having identified a new method for treating gout, renal disorders and a variety of other diseases.".