A chance meeting of two individuals on their bus commute led to the discovery of their mutual interest in how energy is converted from one form to another. One of them a kinesiologist told the other – a chemist – how researchers have been vying to discover an alternative source of energy for the body other than the usual one.
Such a source of energy, if found could control muscle activity, and might also help with new muscle spasm-calming treatments for cerebral palsy. Also, the energy could enhance or activate skeletal muscle function in ALS, MS, and chronic heart failure.
These disorders are highly debilitating as there is no way for the body to fix them. Moreover, the body doesn’t have good mechanisms to control myosin function.
Chemist Kinesiologist duo seek annul classic Approach
“Meanwhile, the usual approach to seek a new compound is the classic ‘needle in a haystack” approach. It involves to systematically test each compound among millions until there is one that is worth follow-up,” notes the chemist.
This struck the chemist to build the needle on their own, as he suggested to the kinesiologist. This led to the two to get started to work together, who would otherwise never work together.
Soon, the two saw the need of someone to copy interactions between the molecules the chemist was synthesizing, and the myosin the kinesiologist was using to test them. For this, the duo invited a computational chemist.
The computer modeling was performed as it would be difficult to know how myosin would be using the molecules the chemist was synthesizing. For this, a computer simulation provides a detailed picture at the molecular level to understand certain effects of these compounds. This can provide insight for two things: how myosin interacts with the current set of compounds, and provide a road map for the chemist to use to design new compounds that are more effective at changing myosin function.