Scientists uncover why aspirin works 2023


Aspirin’s mechanism of action was just discovered. Although this medicine has been sold since the late 1800s, scientists have yet to completely understand its mode of action and cellular targets. The discoveries may lead to safer aspirin alternatives and better cancer immunotherapies.

One of the most often used drugs is aspirin, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. It treats pain, fever, and inflammation, and 29 million Americans use it daily to lower cardiovascular disease risk.

American Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Society

Scientists know that aspirin suppresses the cyclooxygenase enzyme, or COX, which produces messenger chemicals needed for inflammation. This method was further investigated by University of Texas at Arlington chemistry and biochemistry professor Subhrangsu Mandal.

Prarthana Guha, a graduate student in Mandal’s lab, will discuss the team’s results at Discover BMB, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s annual conference in Seattle, March 25–28. Avisankar Chini also contributed.

Mandal said aspirin is a miraculous medication, but long-term usage can cause internal bleeding and organ damage. “Understanding how it works helps us create safer, side-effect-free drugs.”

Aspirin regulates transcription factors needed for cytokine production during inflammation, as well as numerous other inflammatory proteins and noncoding RNAs that are crucial to inflammation and immune response. Mandal said this work needed a unique multidisciplinary team with inflammatory signaling biology and chemical chemistry skills.

Aspirin inhibits IDOs, which decreases the breakdown of tryptophan into kynurenine. Inflammation and immunity depend on tryptophan metabolism.

Mandal stated aspirin reduces IDO1 expression and kynurenine synthesis during inflammation

Aspirin inhibits COX, implying inflammation-related COX-IDO1 interaction.

Immunotherapy, which helps the immune system fight cancer, targets IDO1. COX inhibitors affect the COX–IDO1 axis during inflammation, suggesting they might be used in immunotherapy.

Mandal and his colleagues are developing COX–IDO1-modulating small compounds as anti-inflammatory and immunotherapeutic medicines.

On Tuesday, March 28, Prarthana Guha will present this research at Seattle Convention Center Exhibit Hall 4AB (Poster Board No. 185) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. PDT (abstract). Email the media team for meeting details or a complimentary press pass

Mandal’s lab is sponsored by NIH grant R15 HL142032-01.

About the ASBMB (ASBMB)

The nonprofit scientific and educational ASBMB has over 12,000 members worldwide. The society, founded in 1906 to improve biochemistry and molecular biology, publishes three peer-reviewed publications, pushes for financing fundamental research and education, supports science education at all levels, and encourages diversity in the scientific workforce.

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