December 28, 2010

Gene Discovered that Suppresses Inflammation

(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ A protein identified at the University of Central Florida lab has the power to suppress inflammation, a discovery that could help get to the root causes of disorders like arthritis and heart diseases.

A research team led by Pappachan Kolattukudy, director of the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, initially discovered MCPIP (Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 Induced Protein), which has now been shown to act as a suppressor of inflammation. It does this by inhibiting another protein that triggers an inflammatory response in the body.

The regulatory role of the protein makes it a good target for new drug development to fight inflammatory diseases. Inflammation is an underlying problem in major chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. "Identifying the important role this gene plays in the body's inflammatory response gives us another leg up in understanding the causes of debilitating diseases and, hopefully, a new path for fighting them," Kolattukudy was quoted as saying.

The next step of the research will be to find drug candidates that can promote or inhibit MCPIP function for therapeutic applications.

SOURCE: Journal of Experimental Medicine, published online December 2010