UB receives $2.3 million grant to help prevent life-threatening drug interactions

By Kara Sweet

Release Date: December 7, 2021

Portrait of Jason Sprowl.

Jason Sprowl, assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jason Sprowl, PhD, assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, has received a five-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead an exploration of how tyrosine kinases affect the removal of drugs by the liver.

The research, funded by NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will examine the little understood interactions between tyrosine kinases – an enzyme that acts as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions – and drug transporter proteins in the liver, such as OATP1B1, which helps regulate drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination.

The results may help researchers and clinicians refine therapeutic strategies to prevent life-threatening drug interactions and drug toxicity, says Sprowl.

“To date, our group has already discovered that tyrosine kinase inhibitors turn off proteins that keep these transporter proteins in an active state,” he says. “This study will investigate how this inactivation occurs, and will help in the design of new therapeutics or dosing strategies that will sustain the function of these important proteins, thus preventing life-threatening side effects.”

The findings may also lead to the development of physiologically-based models that predict the outcome of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and OATP1B1 interactions.

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