Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Novel genetic finding offers new avenue for future Crohn's disease treatment

Case Western Reserve researchers identify links between inflammatory disease genes

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine identified a novel link between ITCH, a gene known to regulate inflammation in the body and NOD2, a gene which causes the majority of genetic Crohn's Disease diagnoses.

ITCH, when malfunctioning, causes widespread inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, gastritis, uncontrolled skin inflammation, and pulmonary pneumonitis. Derek Abbott, M.D., Ph.D., and his team of researchers found that ITCH also influences NOD2-induced inflammation.

These findings, published in the August 11th issue of Current Biology, suggest a common pathophysiology exists between multiple inflammatory diseases. The unexpected finding of the interaction between these genes offers the possibility of a new drug target, which would be effective in treating Crohn's disease – a chronic disorder causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are striking an increasing portion of the population. They result from an overstimulation of the immune system by the infectious and environmental agents individuals face daily. Unfortunately, despite their increasing prevalence in the Western world and morbidity among younger patients, the pathophysiology of these enigmatic diseases is poorly understood and for this reason, treatment for these diseases is less-than-ideal.

This finding links two key signaling pathways to the pathophysiology of diseases associated with ITCH and NOD2 and opens new avenues of pharmacologic pursuit to target these diseases. With an eye towards clinical applications, Dr. Abbott and his colleagues' next step is to determine if currently used pharmacologic agents can be useful in this model of inflammatory disease. They will do so using small molecule drug screening to identify potential drugs that target ITCH.

Of those diagnosed with Crohn's disease, 30 percent have the NOD2 mutation in their genes. For these individuals, this discovery opens up the possibility of individually-tailored treatments with better efficacy toward a particular patient's disease.

"This research is an excellent example of how scientific investments benefit the public with measureable gains. In this case, it led to unexpected insights and opened new fields of endeavor for pharmacological manipulation in this serious chronic disease," says Derek Abbott, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "This sort of study will help uncover the pathologic mechanism of disease and ultimately lead to more rational and carefully measured treatment."

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 770 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

Jessica Studeny | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>