Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Protein Discovery Helps Researchers Understand Autoimmune Diseases

Date:
March 7, 2008
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
APS-1 is an rare hereditary disease where the immune system attacks the body's own organs. Scientists have now managed to identify a protein that opens new possibilities of understanding both APS-1 and other autoimmune disorders.

APS-1 is an rare hereditary disease where the immune system attacks the body's own organs. Within the framework of a major EU project, coordinated by Professor Olle Kämpe at Uppsala university, scientists have now managed to identify a protein that opens new possibilities of understanding both APS-1 and other autoimmune disorders.

Related Articles


The newly discovered protein, which goes by the name of NALP5, constitutes the target for the immune system's attacks on the parathyroid glands in the disease APS-1. This finding enables researchers to more closely study the first phase of autoimmune disorders in general, where immune cells, instead of attacking alien bacteria and viruses, erroneously attack the body's own tissue.

The protein functions as a target for the immune cells in humans, but also in animal models for the disease that have the same genetic defect as APS-1 patients.

"This means now, for the first time, in an experimental situation we will be able to compare the immune defense with exactly the same target protein in humans and in an animal model," says Mohammad AliMohammadi at the Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, who made the discovery.

The parathyroid glands are the most recently described anatomical structures in humans. They were discovered in 1879 by scientists at Uppsala University and regulate the body's calcium balance. The fact that the protein NALP5 was found in the parathyroid glands enhances our understanding of their functions. In the long run this discovery can make it possible to develop drugs and treatment methods for diseases producing disturbances in the calcium balance, such as osteoporosis.

In patients with APS-1 the parathyroid glands can be knocked out at a very young age, which can lead to severe cramp attacks that regular cramp treatment is powerless to alleviate. If the disease is not discovered, it therefore often leads to death. The new discovery also makes it possible to diagnose the disease early, so that patients can receive the appropriate treatment.

The discovery is being published in the American journal The New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/358/10/1018


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "New Protein Discovery Helps Researchers Understand Autoimmune Diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094630.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2008, March 7). New Protein Discovery Helps Researchers Understand Autoimmune Diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094630.htm
Uppsala University. "New Protein Discovery Helps Researchers Understand Autoimmune Diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080306094630.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) — UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) — U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins