Abstract by Shelby Harris
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Inhibiting Furin Across Disease Models
Diabetes and arthritis are two of the fastest growing challenges facing the medical field today, both diseases affecting tens of millions in the US alone. Despite affecting very distinct organs, these two diseases have a surprising number of similarities, including a high level of inflammation that frequently causes anemia. This anemia is caused by pathological hepcidin signaling, which prohibits iron from being absorbed and used by mature erythrocytes. In the present study, we primarily attempt to demonstrate a new treatment of anemia of chronic inflammation in diabetic and arthritic rats using the HIV protease inhibitor Nelfinavir. This drug has been shown to lower hepcidin levels in cell cultures and infection caused anemia of chronic inflammation by inhibiting the proprotein convertase furin from activating hepcidin. At this time, the extent of progress has been limited to the validation of an extraction method to measure Nelfinavir concentration in rat serum via HPLC.