Friday, August 30, 2013

Tacrolimus- My favorite organic molecule

As I was trying to figure out which organic molecule was my favorite many ran through my mind. One of the first was caffeine. I think this can easily be a favorite of most college students. The more I thought I about it I didn't think it was my "favorite." I then tried to look up organic molecules with strange names. Even though I came up with quite a few like arsole, bastardane and moronic acid there wasn't really anything about these that made them my favorite. I also tried looking up molecules that were shaped like interesting things. These looked cool but I couldn't really say a lot about them past their appearances. Finally I remembered one that has a huge impact on my life-- Tacrolimus.

Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive agent that helps prevent rejection in patients that have had organ transplants. It can also be used to treat some skin conditions. It was discovered in 1984 from a fermentation of a Japanese soil sample. This sample contained the bacteria Streptomyces tsukubaensis. Its chemical name is known as macrolide and its shelf name is known as Prograf. It prevent rejection by binding to the FK506 binding protein. This creates a new complex which inhibits calcineurin  which inhibits T-lymphocyte signal transduction and IL-2 transcription. This causes the body not to attack the organ and keep it healthy. 

The reason this molecule is so important to me is because it keeps me alive on a daily basis. I had a double lung transplant in August 2009 and have been on tacrolimus since day one. Without this molecule I would very easily reject my lungs. So in a round about way tacrolimus has allowed me live my life and follow my dreams. A pretty good reason for it to be my favorite :)


The pill form that I take everyday.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I really enjoyed this post. I had never heard of Tacrolimus before, but it is obviously a very important molecule in medicine and in your life.