Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New 'bouncer' molecule halts rheumatoid arthritis; Protective protein prevents immune system from ravaging joints and bones

Date:
September 8, 2011
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered why immune cells of people with rheumatoid arthritis become hyperactive and attack the joints and bones. The cells have lost their bouncer, the burly protein that keeps them in line the way a bouncer in a nightclub controls rowdy patrons. The protein, called P21, prevents immune cells from their destructive rampage. When the scientists injected a mimic of P21 into an animal model of arthritis, the disease process was halted.

Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered why the immune cells of people with rheumatoid arthritis become hyperactive and attack the joints and bones. The immune cells have lost their bouncer, the burly protein that keeps them in line the same way a bouncer in a nightclub controls rowdy patrons.

The Feinberg School team has identified this bouncer, a protein called P21, which prevents immune cells from launching into their destructive rampage through the cartilage and bone. When the scientists developed and injected an imitation of the protein into an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis, the disease process was halted.

"The bouncer molecule stopped the immune cells from going crazy," said lead author Harris Perlman, associate professor of rheumatology at Northwestern's Feinberg School. "Imagine destructive customers in a bar, and the bouncer says, 'You are going to behave!' That's P21. This discovery opens up a new avenue for future therapies, which are greatly needed for rheumatoid arthritis."

Previous research by the Feinberg team showed people with rheumatoid arthritis were low in P21, but the protein's role was unknown. The new study, which will be published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, reveals the protein's vital role in keeping the immune cells in check.

Currently, there is no effective, nontoxic way to stop the hyperactive immune cells, Perlman said.

To develop the new approach, Perlman and his team tested five different parts, called peptides, of P21. He slipped each peptide into a "ghostlike" molecule that he injected into mice with a rheumatoid arthritis-like disease. The molecule secretly infiltrated the immune cells. After the seven-day trial, one of the tested peptides had calmed the overactive immune cells without toxic effects. Next, Perlman plans a 30-day study with the same peptide to monitor efficacy and toxicity over a longer period of time.

Existing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include low-level chemotherapy and steroids. These are not always effective, however, and they are frequently accompanied by side effects. A newer class of therapy, which is sometimes used in combination with chemotherapy and steroids, is biologic response modifiers. These are antibodies or other proteins that reduce the inflammation produced by the hyperactive immune cells. These biologics don't work for everyone, though, and can be associated with side effects including the risk of infection.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Melissa Mavers, Carla M. Cuda, Alexander V. Misharin, Angelica K. Gierut, Hemant Agrawal, Evan Weber, Deborah Veis Novack, G. Kenneth Haines, Dimitrios Balomenos, Harris Perlman. The cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21 is essential for resolution of murine inflammatory arthritis via its c-terminal domain. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/art.33311

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "New 'bouncer' molecule halts rheumatoid arthritis; Protective protein prevents immune system from ravaging joints and bones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907124616.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2011, September 8). New 'bouncer' molecule halts rheumatoid arthritis; Protective protein prevents immune system from ravaging joints and bones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907124616.htm
Northwestern University. "New 'bouncer' molecule halts rheumatoid arthritis; Protective protein prevents immune system from ravaging joints and bones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907124616.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. Video provided by Newsy
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