Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Asthma Susceptibility Gene Causes Breathing Difficulties: New Study Explains

Date:
April 28, 2008
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Southampton's School of Medicine have discovered how a gene, which is linked to susceptibility to asthma, contributes to the development or the progression of the disease. The findings of this new study may lead to novel treatments for asthma, as well as other diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis or thickening of the arteries.

Researchers at the University of Southampton's School of Medicine have discovered how a gene, which is linked to susceptibility to asthma, contributes to the development or the progression of the disease. The findings of this new study may lead to novel treatments for asthma, as well as other diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis or thickening of the arteries.

Related Articles


The asthma susceptibility gene ADAM33 was discovered in 2002 and is associated both with early life origins of asthma and with impaired lung function. However, its biological role and its contribution to the way asthma develops have not been understood until now.

The Southampton study, led by Professors Donna Davies and Stephen Holgate, describes the biological function of the gene for the first time, providing new insight into the progression and development of asthma.

ADAM33 protein is usually tethered in the cell membrane, but in asthma this tether is broken. Since ADAM33 is an enzyme, Professor Davies and her team reasoned that the untethered or 'rogue' enzyme could attack proteins it should not normally encounter.

They discovered that the cells lining the inner surface of blood vessels become a target for ADAM33, causing the formation of new blood vessels in a process called angiogenesis. These blood vessels can carry more inflammatory cells into the airways, causing swelling of the airways and changes in airway structure (termed 'remodelling'), resulting in breathing difficulties. The research team also identified a potential mechanism that would link environmental exposure to production of the rogue form of ADAM33.

Professor Davies explains: "Human asthma is triggered by both environmental and genetic factors. Our discovery that this rogue form of ADAM33 promotes angiogenesis suggests that it causes airways 'remodelling' to facilitate inflammation and reduced lung function. In both children and adults, the development of new blood vessels is believed to be an important aspect in the development of asthma, with increased levels linked to the severity of the disease. Treatments which specifically target the ADAM33 enzyme may therefore be effective in modifying the natural history of the disease.

"However, the importance of angiogenesis in many physiological and pathological processes broadens the range of the diseases in which the enzyme could be implicated, the most obvious being cancer and atherosclerosis or thickening of the arteries."

According to the charity Asthma UK 5.2m people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, including 1.1m children, and there is a person with asthma in one in five households in the UK.

The research paper, The soluble form of ADAM33 promotes angiogenesis: implications for airway remodelling in asthma, will be published in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and is available online now at http://www.jacionline.org/inpress

Professor Davies' and Holgate's research was funded by the Medical Research Council and several research charities.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "How Asthma Susceptibility Gene Causes Breathing Difficulties: New Study Explains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428130308.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2008, April 28). How Asthma Susceptibility Gene Causes Breathing Difficulties: New Study Explains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428130308.htm
University of Southampton. "How Asthma Susceptibility Gene Causes Breathing Difficulties: New Study Explains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428130308.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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