Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have discovered a new class of potential drug targets for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The scientists are working to identify the best method to attack the targets — oxidized proteins. The most potent oxidant of the bunch is peroxynitrite, which is produced in conditions involving inflammation. Oxidized proteins and free radicals can damage DNA, lipids and proteins implicated in neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions.
Peroxynitrite is produced thanks to the diffusion-limited reaction of nitric oxide and superoxide.
Peroxynitrite appears to be especially pernicious when it oxidizes heat shock prote…