URI cancer researcher now aiming sights on Lyme disease

Excerpted from PhysOrg.com  ( Posted: 02/02/2011 ) 

As part of her research into breast cancer, University of Rhode Island scientist Roberta King has for years been studying the role of an enzyme in regulating estrogen activity.

King is specifically interested a type of enzyme, called sulfotransferases, which contribute to balancing and regulating numerous biologically active compounds such as estrogen and dopamine.

Now the associate professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Pharmacy is targeting dopamine sulfotransferase and its potential role in the transmission of the that causes Lyme disease. In a partnership with Thomas Mather, professor of entomology and director of the URI Center for Vector-Borne Diseases, King and her research team are looking at how tick dopamine sulfotransferase affects tick salivation and ultimately the feeding process that leads to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.

“In the lab, we have shown that the tick sulfotransferase controls dopamine activity. Because others have shown that dopamine controls tick salivation, we expect that manipulating the sulfotransferase may turn off salivation, which in turn would prevent ticks from feeding,” King said. “If we can prevent ticks from feeding, then we can stop them from transmitting diseases.”

For the complete article:  http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-uri-cancer-aiming-sights-lyme.html

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~ by Rob on February 11, 2011.

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