Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein molecule may improve survival in deadly lung disease

Date:
May 6, 2014
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
A protein molecule that seems to slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease that is often fatal three to five years after diagnosis, has been discovered by researchers. Nearly five million people worldwide are affected by pulmonary fibrosis, which causes the lungs to become covered in fibrous scar tissue and leads to shortness of breath that gets more severe as the disease progresses.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered a protein molecule that seems to slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease that is often fatal three to five years after diagnosis.

The finding is reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Nearly five million people worldwide are affected by pulmonary fibrosis, which causes the lungs to become covered in fibrous scar tissue and leads to shortness of breath that gets more severe as the disease progresses.

Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases can cause pulmonary fibrosis, as can exposure to asbestos, certain toxic gases, and even radiation therapy to treat lung cancer. Treatment options are limited because once scarring occurs, it is permanent. Lung transplantation remains the only effective treatment, but it is usually reserved for advanced cases.

"Finding a new therapeutic target for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis is exciting, especially because the therapies available generally only slow the disease in very few patients," said Long Shuang Huang, UIC postdoctoral research associate in pharmacology and first author of the paper.

In previous genetic studies of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis -- where no cause can be identified -- the researchers found variations in several genes known to be involved in pulmonary fibrosis, including in the gene coding for a protein called lysocardiolipin acyltransferase, or LYCAT.

To investigate the potential role of LYCAT in pulmonary fibrosis, the researchers measured its levels in the blood of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients. Patients with the highest levels of LYCAT had significantly better lung function and higher three-year survival rates than those with lower levels.

"Since higher LYCAT levels directly correlate with better lung function and outcomes, we think the protein is playing some kind of protective role, or could be slowing the progress of pulmonary fibrosis," Huang said. "This suggests that boosting LYCAT levels in patients with pulmonary fibrosis may be a viable new therapeutic approach to treating the disease," Huang said.

The researchers also looked at the role of LYCAT in a mouse model of lung tissue scarring, and found that in mice where the LYCAT gene was knocked out, scar tissue developed more readily compared to mice with the gene. In mice engineered to produce elevated levels of LYCAT the development of scarring was much slower.

Looking for compounds or small molecules that increase the production of LYCAT is the next step for Huang and his colleagues.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. The original article was written by Sharon Parmet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Long Shuang Huang, Biji Mathew, Haiquan Li, Yutong Zhao, Shwu-Fan Ma, Imre Noth, Sekhar P. Reddy, Anantha Harijith, Peter V. Usatyuk, Evgeny V. Berdyshev, Naftali Kaminski, Tong Zhou, Wei Zhang, Yanmin Zhang, Jalees Rehman, Sainath R. Kotha, Travis O. Gurney, Narasimham L. Parinandi, Yves A. Lussier, Joe G.N. Garcia, Viswanathan Natarajan. The Mitochondrial Cardiolipin Remodeling Enzyme Lysocardiolipin Acyltransferase (LYCAT) is a Novel Target in Pulmonary Fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2014; 140429121011006 DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201310-1917OC

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Protein molecule may improve survival in deadly lung disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506130435.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2014, May 6). Protein molecule may improve survival in deadly lung disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506130435.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Protein molecule may improve survival in deadly lung disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506130435.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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