Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Inflammation-fighting mechanism may point to new treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
VIB
Summary:
Scientists in Belgium have discovered a mechanism used by the protein A20 to combat inflammation. This could be a very important point of focus in the search for a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which the patient suffers from chronic, uncontrolled inflammation.

Scientists affiliated with VIB and UGent have discovered a mechanism used by the protein A20 to combat inflammation. This could be a very important point of focus in the search for a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which the patient suffers from chronic, uncontrolled inflammation.

Rudi Beyaert (VIB -UGent): "We hope that our research can eventually contribute to the development of new therapies against Rheumatoid Arthritis and other auto-immune conditions."

Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 is World Arthritis Day.

A20, a protein involved in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune conditions

RA is a chronic progressive joint condition that starts with an inflammation of the joint membrane and affects the soft tissues around the joints. In Belgium, the number of RA patients is estimated at 100,000. The actual cause is unknown, but there is evidence that the immune system is disrupted, which causes the body to attack its own tissues and creates inflammation in various joints.

Rudi Beyaert and his research team previously identified the molecule A20 as an important point of focus for the development of new medicines against RA and other autoimmune diseases. A20 appears to exert an anti-inflammatory effect in white blood cells.

Unraveling the details of an interaction

For the development of new medicines, it is important to fully understand the anti-inflammatory effect of A20. Previous research has demonstrated that A20 interferes with specific "signaling pathways" in our cells that stimulate the activity of a DNA binding molecule (NF-κB). NF-κB plays a key role in many immunological processes and excessive activation of NF-κB can result in a whole range of "inflammatory diseases," including arthritis. However, it is still largely unknown how A20 interferes with the activity of NF-κB.

Kelly Verhelst and other scientists in the team of Rudi Beyaert have now mapped the specific interaction between A20 and the NF-κB signaling pathway. They demonstrated that a small particle (ZF7) at the end of the A20 protein binds to certain small molecules (ubiquitin chains), which are attached to specific NF-κB signaling proteins in the cell. This makes it impossible for these proteins to communicate with other proteins, thereby disrupting the signal that would normally result in inflammation.

Research impact

This is very interesting from a scientific point of view, because the VIB scientists have identified a new mechanism that brings us one step closer to the possible development of a new medicine. After all, we now know which part of A20 has an anti-inflammatory effect and how exactly this works. Rudi Beyaert: "Now that we know the importance of this small fragment (ZF7) of A20 for the anti-inflammatory effect, we can also use it as a point of focus for the development of medicines against various auto-immune diseases. This is one step closer, but we still have a long way to go."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kelly Verhelst, Isabelle Carpentier, Marja Kreike, Laura Meloni, Lynn Verstrepen, Tobias Kensche, Ivan Dikic, Rudi Beyaert. A20 inhibits LUBAC-mediated NF-κB activation by binding linear polyubiquitin chains via its zinc finger 7. The EMBO Journal, 2012; 31 (19): 3845 DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2012.240

Cite This Page:

VIB. "Inflammation-fighting mechanism may point to new treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009092535.htm>.
VIB. (2012, October 9). Inflammation-fighting mechanism may point to new treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009092535.htm
VIB. "Inflammation-fighting mechanism may point to new treatments of rheumatoid arthritis, other autoimmune diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009092535.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. 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