Scientists thought there was little left to learn about a class of medications that includes ibuprofen, but a recent discovery raises the possibility of a new class of pain relievers.
Ibuprofen, naproxen, and related non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, have been the subject of years of study. Researchers from Vanderbilt University report new insights into how NSAIDs work to block the activity of the cyclooxygenase enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2.
“Until about three years ago, we thought we knew everything there was to know about these enzymes and these inhibitors, but we were unaware of some of the details of how they work,” says Lawrence Marnett, professor of biochemistry, chemistry, and pharmacology.
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(Photo credit: Lawrence Marnett and colleagues / Nature Chemical Biology)