Several nuclear receptor proteins appear to overlap in their ability to exert anti-inflammatory effects, according to new research by scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Nuclear receptors are important drug targets for a number of diseases, for example, glucocorticoid receptors for asthma and arthritis. But use of drugs targeting these receptors is sometimes limited by unwelcome side effects. The new findings may suggest a way to overcome this obstacle.
In a paper being published in the September 9 issue of the journal Cell, Christopher Glass, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine, and his colleagues show that three nuclear receptor proteins – glucocorticoid, PPAR gamma and LXR – can work together to repress the cellular responses to certain kinds of pro-inflammatory molecular signaling. These nuclear receptors are important in "turning off" inflammatory responses to bacteria or viruses and allowing the cells to return to a normal state.
"Basically, we are looking at a tuning system to maintain a proper level of immunity, but without an inappropriate inflammatory response that would contribute to a chronic disease state," Glass said.
Debra Kain | EurekAlert!
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