NCSU scientists develop model to better understand salt-hypertension links

RALEIGH – Researchers from North Carolina State University have modeled and analyzed the binding modes of 210 molecules previously reported to inhibit the function of a family of enzymes involved in regulating salt and blood pressure in the human body. Their findings could help researchers better understand the complex relationships between salt regulation, hypertension and high blood pressure.

The With-No-Lysine (WNK) family of enzymes is a group of four proteins that are involved with blood pressure and body fluid regulation. These enzymes are linked with a rare and severe form of hypertension; however, their individual functions are not well understood. To better comprehend the role of each enzyme, researchers need to develop targeted molecules that can selectively shut off their function. The molecules currently in use bind with all four of the WNK proteins, preventing researchers from teasing out differences in function between each one.

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