Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bench-to-bedside asthma research to study potential biomarker

Date:
August 15, 2013
Source:
Creighton University
Summary:
A cancer biologist's chance finding during a prostate cancer study has yielded promising results for diagnosing and treating asthma. This research could result in a new biomarker for asthma as well as novel therapies.

What started as basic cancer research at Creighton University has yielded promising results for diagnosing and treating asthma -- and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) agrees, investing nearly $1.5 million in Creighton to find out more.

In a previous prostate cancer study, Yaping Tu, Ph.D., a cancer biologist and associate professor of pharmacology at Creighton University School of Medicine, studied a mouse model that was missing a specific gene, called RGS2; he believed the deleted gene would lead to prostate cancer in the animals. Though the tumors failed to develop, Tu noticed the mice had trouble breathing and were less active, similar to asthma patients. With the help of Creighton's renowned allergy and asthma researcher Thomas Casale, M.D., professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology and Chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Tu soon determined the animals suffered from airway hyperresponsiveness, or a twitchiness of the airways -- a cardinal feature of asthma.

"This finding piqued our interest and made us wonder if there was a connection to human patients with asthma," says Tu. "In a small study, we were able to confirm that RGS2 is downregulated in a high percentage of patients with asthma, confirming the possibility that this may be a target for a novel gene therapy in asthma patients."

Now with a $1.44 million, four-year NIH grant, Tu and collaborators Casale and Peter Abel, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at Creighton University School of Medicine, will take a bench-to-bedside approach to explore how the gene works in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness and whether it can be used as a diagnostic marker for asthma. Finally, the collaborators will work to develop a therapeutic approach to restore gene function, with the hope of one day applying the research to human trials.

Asthma currently affects more than 25 million Americans. There is not one cause; different patients have different triggers. The one shared trait, however, is airway hypperresponsiveness possibly related to the change to RGS2.

"Our current treatment options are similar to a lock-and-key," Casale explains. "Each drug on the market is the key to unlock and treat a different symptom or pathway important in causing asthma -- and we still haven't found all of the keys. We still have a lot of work to do, but our findings suggest that therapy targeting RGS2 gene expression might just be the master key to managing a critical component of asthma as a whole."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Creighton University. "Bench-to-bedside asthma research to study potential biomarker." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133202.htm>.
Creighton University. (2013, August 15). Bench-to-bedside asthma research to study potential biomarker. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133202.htm
Creighton University. "Bench-to-bedside asthma research to study potential biomarker." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815133202.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 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:
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