Ciprofloxacin side effects dramatically affect the mitochondrial genome

Ciprofloxacin side effects dramatically affect the mitochondrial genome

Antibiotics are to be used cautiously with Ciprofloxacin side effects causing severe issues on metabolism, according to a study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland.

Antibiotics can rescue patients and save lives, especially when treating bacterial or fungal infections, however these pharmaceuticals unfortunately have a dark side. More specifically, Ciprofloxacin side effects have recently been investigated to greatly affect cellular function.

Undesired effects on the metabolism of the human body

Similar to the effects of most medical drugs, many antibiotics can have undesired effects on the metabolism of the human body, however a recent study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland and published in Nucleic Acids Research explored the effect of ciprofloxacin on mitochondria, which are the important cell organelles in the human body that produce energy for cellular function.

Fluoroquinolones are some of the most frequently used broad-spectrum antibacterial antibiotics, which includes ciprofloxacin being its most active member, and usually prescribed for respiratory, urinary or ear infections. Although they are usually well tolerated, some patients receiving fluoroquinolones have come to develop severe health problems, mores specifically, Ciprofloxacin side effects include tendon rupture, permanent nerve damage or depression.

What are the causes for the Ciprofloxacin side effects?

Mitochondria possess their own small circular genome, and for its regular maintenance topoisomerase enzymes is required. Topoisomerases regulate the topology of DNA and untangle for instance knots and overwound stretches of a genome by cutting and reconnecting the DNA sequence. While fluoroquinolones are designed to inhibit the bacterial topoisomerase gyrase, which kills off the bacterium, they also inhibit the topoisomerase 2 of our own cells.

Steffi Goffart, academy research from the University of Eastern Finland says: “We noticed that topoisomerase 2 is especially important in the replication of the mitochondrial genome, as it regulates the winding of this small DNA molecule by removing positive twists”.

Ciprofloxacin stopped this normal maintenance and transcription of mitochondrial DNA by changing mtDNA topology, causing impaired mitochondrial energy production and blocking cellular growth and differentiation.

This dramatic impact on mitochondrial DNA is the likely cause for most negative Ciprofloxacin side effects experienced by patients, and also a reason to use the antibiotics with great caution.

The results conducted by the researchers from the University of East Finland essentially highlights, for the first time, the importance of topology for maintenance of mtDNA homeostasis and provide novel insight into the mitochondrial effects of fluoroquinolones.


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