Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanisms regulating inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes, cancer identified

Date:
March 1, 2013
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
A new study has identified epigenetic mechanisms that connect a variety of diseases associated with inflammation.

A study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has identified epigenetic mechanisms that connect a variety of diseases associated with inflammation. Utilizing molecular analyses of gene expression in macrophages, which are cells largely responsible for inflammation, researchers have shown that inhibiting a defined group of proteins could help decrease the inflammatory response associated with diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and sepsis.

The study, which is published online in the Journal of Immunology, was led by first author Anna C. Belkina, MD, PhD, a researcher in the department of microbiology at BUSM, and senior author Gerald V. Denis, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and medicine at BUSM.

Epigenetics is an emerging field of study exploring how genetically identical cells express their genes differently, resulting in different phenotypes, due to mechanisms other than DNA sequence changes.

Previous studies have shown that a gene, called Brd2, is associated with high insulin production and excessive adipose (fat) tissue expansion that drives obesity when Brd2 levels are low and cancer when Brd2 levels are high. The Brd2 gene is a member of the Bromodomain Extra Terminal (BET) family of proteins and is closely related to Brd4, which is important in highly lethal carcinomas in young people, as well as in the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The BET family proteins control gene expression epigenetically by acting on chromatin, the packaging material for genes, rather than on DNA directly. This mechanism of action is being explored because the interactions are not reflected in genome sequencing information or captured through DNA-based genetic analysis. In addition, this layer of gene regulation has recently been shown to be a potential target in the development of novel epigenetic drugs that could target several diseases at once.

The study results show that proteins in the BET family have a strong influence on the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages. This indicates that the defined family of proteins govern many aspects of acute inflammatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, sepsis and cardiovascular disease, among others, and that they should be explored as a potential target to treat a wide variety of diseases.

"Our study suggests that it is not a coincidence that patients with diabetes experience higher risk of death from cancer, or that patients with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as atherosclerosis and insulin resistance, also are more likely to be obese or suffer from inflammatory complications," said Belkina. "This requires us to think of diverse diseases of different organs as much more closely related than our current division of medical specialties allows."

Future research should explore how to successfully and safely target and inhibit these proteins in order to stop the inflammatory response associated with a variety of diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. C. Belkina, B. S. Nikolajczyk, G. V. Denis. BET Protein Function Is Required for Inflammation: Brd2 Genetic Disruption and BET Inhibitor JQ1 Impair Mouse Macrophage Inflammatory Responses. The Journal of Immunology, 2013; DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202838

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Mechanisms regulating inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes, cancer identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301123302.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2013, March 1). Mechanisms regulating inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes, cancer identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301123302.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Mechanisms regulating inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes, cancer identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130301123302.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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:
from the past week

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