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New Discovery Paves The Way For New Diagnosis Of Serious Lung Disease

Date:
March 10, 2009
Source:
Uppsala Universitet
Summary:
The discovery of a previously unknown protein in the cells of the lower air ways brings new potential for early diagnosis of a serious lung disease. The findings can also provide new knowledge of the cause of common diseases like asthma and chronic bronchitis.

The discovery by Uppsala University researchers of a previously unknown protein in the cells of the lower air ways brings new potential for early diagnosis of a serious lung disease. The findings, published in the Web edition of the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can also provide new knowledge of the cause of common diseases like asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Researchers at Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital have identified a protein in the lungs that is important to the immune defense system in an autoimmune lung disorder that is not seldom fatal. The newly discovered protein, called KCNRG, occurs in cells in the lower air ways found on the surface of the bronchia. This observation enables researchers to study more closely the first phase of the autoimmune disease, that is, when the immune system erroneously attacks the body's own tissues instead of attacking foreign organisms like bacteria or viruses. The discovery also provides new avenues for developing new diagnostic methods.

The researchers used an unusual hereditary autoimmune disorder, autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1), as a model. Patients with this disease are afflicted by the immune system erroneously attacking several tissues, such as the liver, insulin-producing cells, and adrenal glands.

"Only now have we understood that the lungs are attacked as well and that in many cases this is the most serious component of the disease APS-1," says Dr. Mohammad Alimohammadi.

"It's our hope that the discovery of the protein that the immune system targets, besides making early diagnosis possible, will also be possible to use in understanding the mechanism behind the occurrence of common public health disorders like asthma and chronic bronchitis."

The study was led by Uppsala University and is the result of European collaboration. To verify their findings the researchers used a tool from the Swedish protein atlas project, the Human Protein Atlas.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Alimohammadi et al. Pulmonary autoimmunity as a feature of autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 and identification of KCNRG as a bronchial autoantigen. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809986106

Cite This Page:

Uppsala Universitet. "New Discovery Paves The Way For New Diagnosis Of Serious Lung Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090429.htm>.
Uppsala Universitet. (2009, March 10). New Discovery Paves The Way For New Diagnosis Of Serious Lung Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090429.htm
Uppsala Universitet. "New Discovery Paves The Way For New Diagnosis Of Serious Lung Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090429.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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