Frankincense: anti-Inflammatory substances for the treatment of diseases
Incense has been used for Thousands of years to cultic purposes. The resin of the frankincense tree also helps against various diseases and is also suitable for the therapy of diseases such as Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis or atopic dermatitis.
The current message according to a research team at the University of Jena, and of the Louisiana State University (USA) has elucidated the molecular mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effect of a natural substance from frankincense resin.
For the therapy of various diseases
According to Tradition, the Magi brought Gold and myrrh and also frankincense as a gift for the newborn baby Jesus to Bethlehem.
For millennia, the aromatic fragrance of the incense resin is a component of many religious ceremonies and gives up today in the Church many of the festivals in a special expression.
“Frankincense is still a valuable gift,” says Professor Dr Oliver Werz of the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena – but less the biblical meaning of incense in a glance.
“The from the trunk of the frankincense tree obtained resin contains anti-inflammatory substances, making it, inter alia, for the treatment of diseases such as Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis or atopic dermatitis suitable,” explains the pharmacist.
Anti-inflammatory effects of frankincense resin
Werz and his Team to go for a number of years, the anti-inflammatory effects of frankincense resin and its ingredients.
Now, it is the researchers at the University of Jena, together with American colleagues, have managed the molecular mode of action of the boswellic acid investigate, a substance for the anti-inflammatory effect of incense is responsible.
Their results were published in the current issue of the magazine “Nature Chemical Biology”.
Researchers were the first to elucidate the crystal structure and mapping
A key role for the effect of the incense is played by the enzyme 5-Lipoxygenase. “For more than 40 years, we know that this enzyme promotes the formation of Leukotrienes, an important group of inflammatory messengers in the human body,” says Werz.
The scientists were able to identify in the presented work, however, now for the first Time the crystal structure of this Central inflammatory enzyme with bound inhibitors and map.
As the communication explains, allow the crystal structure of the recordings in addition to detailed studies of the enzyme and its interaction with active substances, the development of novel anti-inflammatories.
And that’s exactly what the research team. In addition to one already on the market are anti-inflammatories, Zileuton – a synthetic preparation that is used in Asthma – the researchers have different natural substances with the enzyme, in conjunction with the crystal structures of the resulting molecular complex is analyzed.
The result has surprised the experts, first of all, While other natural dock materials, similar to Zileuton, directly in the so-called active center of the enzyme and its function to inhibit, binds to the boswellic acid in a different – far from the active centre of the enzyme molecule remote–.
“Through this bond, however, leads to structural changes in the active site, which inhibits the enzyme activity also,” said Werz.
Domino effect in the enzyme structure
The Incense ingredient-induced structural changes have, consequently, already an anti-inflammatory effect.
“The influence of boswellic acid and goes beyond clear about it,” explains Dr. Jana Gerstmeier from the research team. “By binding a Domino effect occurs, whereby in addition, the specificity of the enzyme changed,” says the pharmacist.
Instead of the synthesis of Pro-inflammatory catalyze of leukotrienes, produced by the 5-Lipoxygenase under the influence of boswellic acid, anti-dissolving substances. “This means, in simple terms, the Incense ingredient of the inflammatory enzyme programmed to an inflammation-definition of enzyme.”
According to the authors of the study, these findings can now be used on the one hand, make use of the boswellic acids from frankincense to test in relevant disease models and to develop later, perhaps as a medicine against inflammatory diseases.
On the other hand, thanks to the newly discovered binding site of 5-Lipoxygenase on other potential drug can be tracked substances and their effectiveness as anti-inflammatories to be experimentally tested. (ad)