Chasing the Antidote for Deadly Nerve Agents

Global Biodefense  March 13, 2020
Poisons such as organophosphorus nerve agents and pesticides wreak havoc by blocking an enzyme essential for proper brain and nerve function. Fast-acting drugs, called reactivators, are required to reach the central nervous system and counteract damage that could lead to death. To enhance the antidote’s effectiveness, the reactivator’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier should be improved, it should bind loosely to the enzyme, chemically snatch the poison and then leave quickly. A team of researchers in the US (UC San Diego, University of Tennessee, Ohio State University, University of Utah, Oak Ridge National Laboratory) designed and tested reactivators on three different nerve agents and one pesticide with positive initial results. Their next step is to use neutron crystallography to better understand antidote designs…read more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Credit: Andrey Kovalescsky, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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