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Inhibitor for age-related illnesses

FRIAS Fellow Manfred Jung and his team have been awarded the PHOENIX Pharmacy Research Prize (PHOENIX Pharmazie Wissenschaftspreis).

Manfred Jung, Professor at the Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Freiburg, and his group have received the prize for their discovery of an inhibitor for the enzyme Sirtuin 2 (Sirt2). Sirtuins are associated with a range of age-related illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. With the help of the newly discovered inhibitor, it may be possible to prevent some of these illnesses and to find new therapeutic approaches. Every year, the pharmaceutical distributor PHOENIX awards its prize for outstanding achievements within pharmaceutical research. In addition to Manfred Jung’s team, three other groups have received the prize.


Through their research, the group members aim to specifically influence different sirtuin types. The newly discovered inhibitor SirReal2 dissolves the three-dimensional structure of Sirt2. Within cells, sirtuins contribute to the regulation of gene activity and are thus a key factor for various illnesses. Combined with the Cofactor NAD+, they separate molecular groups called acetyl radicals from proteins. These acyl groups are signal switches: they activate and deactivate proteins, thus functioning as a kind of bookmark for the transcription of genes. The exact function of sirtuins in these processes is still partly unclear. With these, researchers can find out which processes inside the cell are disrupted when a sirtuin is blocked. In this way, conclusions can be drawn about the function of the respective enzyme. The inhibitor helps to further analyse the functions of the enzyme inside the cell. Furthermore, the researchers hope that the discovery of SirReal2 will promote the development of even more effective inhibitors for different sirtuin types, thus contributing to new therapeutic approaches. The team published its findings in 2015 in the journal “Nature Communications”.


Further information about Manfred Jung.

Further information about the PHOENIX Pharmacy Research Prize.

Original publication:
Rumpf, T., Schiedel, M., Karaman, B., Roessler, C., North, B. J., Lehotzky, A., Oláh, J., Ladwein, K. I., Schmidtkunz, K., Gajer, M., Pannek, M., Steegborn, C., Sinclair, D. A., Gerhardt, S., Ovádi, J., Schutkowski, M., Sippl, W., Einsle, O. & Jung, M. (2015). Selective Sirt2 inhibition by ligand-induced rearrangement of the active site. Nat. Comm. 6, 6263, doi:10.1038/ncomms7263.