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Emma S Spencer, Edward J Dale, Aimée L Gommans, Malcolm T Rutledge, Christine T Vo, Yoshio Nakatani, Allan B Gamble, Robin A J Smith, Sigurd M Wilbanks, Mark B Hampton, and Joel D A Tyndall., Eur J Med Chem, 2015 vol. 93C pp. 501-510.
Paradoxically, the chemical "kick” in mustard, wasabi and horseradish, molecules known as isothiocyantes, can also be potent anti-inflammatory compounds. These act in part by attacking a protein known by the acronym MIF. Otago researchers in the National School of Pharmacy, the Department of Pathology in Christchurch and the Department of Biochemistry have designed and tested new isothiocyanates. X-ray crystallography revealed the atomic details of how different isothiocyanates attached to MIF differently, aiding development of new anti-inflammatory compounds.