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Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Oh no I posted liver. Ooops just showed my ignorance. My dad reminded me that the liver grabs proteins which do not have sialic acid on them. More exactly which have galactose on them which galactose is not covered by sialic acid. My confidence shaken, I don't dare propose linking galactose to say quinine. The reason is, that I am not sure if the liver grabs galactose or grabs only proteins with a short chain of sugars ending with galactose. Besides I'm sure this is extensively studied. There is the possibility that malaria is so third world that reasonable treatment strategies are not explored, but hepatitis B and especially C are big enough problems in rich countries that get it to the liver has been explored for sure.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Get it into the liver.

I think that sometimes there is a problem with getting things into the liver. In particular, malaria hides in the liver when it is dormant. Quinine kills malaria in the blood but not in the liver. A major step forward was the development of quinine analogs which get into the liver. A major step backward was malaria resistant to these drugs. It would be good to be able to deliver say quinine or other analogs to the liver. Also say antivirals to treat hepatitis. The problem with quinine is that it causes brain damage, limiting the maximum dose. Antivirals can cause say anemia. OK so how do you send things to the liver – simple syalic acid – a sugar which is stuck onto proteins as they circulate marking them as old and to be recycled by the liver. I think a weak link (like hydrogen bonding say) between syalic acid and the compound of interest could be used to deliver it to the liver. The idea is that it is freed in lysosomes. This would mean it has to be injected so as not to be freed in the intestine but hey.