A discovery by Queensland scientists could be the key to stopping damage caused by uncontrolled inflammation in a range of common diseases including liver disease, Alzheimer’s and gout.
University of Queensland researchers have uncovered how an inflammation process automatically switches off in healthy cells, and are now investigating ways to stop it manually when it goes awry.
“Now that we understand how this pathway naturally turns off in health, we can investigate why it doesn’t turn off in disease — so it’s very exciting,” Dr Schroder said.
Her work at IMB’s Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research focuses on inflammasomes, which are machine-like protein complexes at the heart of inflammation and disease.
“These complexes form when an infection, injury or other disturbance is detected by the immune system, and they send messages to immune cells to tell them to respond,” Dr Schroder said.
“If the disturbance can’t be cleared, such as in the case of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s, these molecular machines continue to fire, resulting in neurodegenerative damage from the sustained inflammation.”
Dr Schroder’s team, led by Dr Dave Boucher, discovered that inflammasomes normally work with an in-built timer switch, to ensure they only fire for a specific length of time once triggered.
“The inflammasome initiates the inflammation process by activating a protein that functions like a pair of scissors, and cuts itself and other proteins,” Dr Schroder said.
“What we’ve found is that after a period of time this protein cuts itself a second time to turn off the pathway, so if we can tweak this system we may be able to turn it off manually in disease.”
Dr Schroder’s laboratory has begun studying the inflammasome in fatty liver disease, a rapidly growing health issue due to the increasing global incidence of obesity and diabetes.
“In some patients with this condition the liver becomes increasingly fatty and inflamed, and this can lead to cirrhosis – which can require liver transplantation – or even liver cancer.”
Compounds to block inflammasome have been developed by IMB researchers including Dr Schroder, and are being commercialised by start-up drug development company Inflazome Ltd.
The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (DOI: 10.1084/jem.20172222), was supported by the Australian Research Council, and involved laboratories at IMB and the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.
Imaging for the project was performed in the IMB Cancer Biology Imaging Facility, funded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Additional video: inflammasome animation on YouTube.
The Latest on: Uncontrolled inflammation
via Google News
The Latest on: Uncontrolled inflammation
- PGIMER Chandigarh launches card to track medical record of patients with inflammatory bowel diseaseon May 19, 2022 at 2:58 pm
Inflammatory bowel disease, an ongoing illness caused by the inflammation of the intestines, has two main types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease ...
- Immune sensor ZBP1 links interferon treatment and dangerous inflammatory cell death during COVID-19on May 19, 2022 at 1:19 pm
Scientists from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have shown that the innate immune sensor, ZBP1, and its associated inflammatory cell death pathway, PANoptosis, are major contributors to the ...
- COVID vaccine-related heart inflammation lower for kids than teens: U.S. CDCon May 19, 2022 at 11:25 am
Reports of heart inflammation linked to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been much lower in boys under age 11 than in teens, the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control says.
- Cross-talking neurons spill secrets of inflammation spread in arthritison May 18, 2022 at 11:58 pm
As the underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders, there is considerable interest in deepening our understanding of chronic inflammation and the way it takes hold in the ...
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Catson May 17, 2022 at 2:27 pm
Uncontrolled IBD in cats can also progress to secondary ... only require a diet change and added probiotics to manage their IBD, while others may need anti-inflammatory medications, vitamin injections ...
- Enzyme "sugar tag" blocks excess cell death behind chronic inflammationon May 16, 2022 at 12:12 am
Uncontrolled inflammation in the human body can drive a variety of serious health conditions, including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, so discoveries around how it works can benefit the field of ...
- Mitochondrial respiratory chain sustains inflammationon May 13, 2022 at 7:14 am
Northwestern Medicine investigators recently discovered that the mitochondrial respiratory chain—a series of protein complexes essential for a cellular respiration and energy production—is necessary ...
- Early Inflammation Protects Against Chronic Pain, Study Findson May 12, 2022 at 6:40 pm
W hy acute pain sometimes resolves after a few weeks or months, but becomes chronic in other people, is not entirely understood, particularly at ...
- Researchers isolate enzyme that prevents excessive inflammatory cell deathon May 12, 2022 at 6:10 am
A WEHI-led study has identified a new enzyme involved in controlling cell death, in findings that could lead to better treatment options for a range of inflammatory conditions, cancers and viruses.
via Bing News