With new research published today (15 February) in The Journal of Immunology, the team from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has found an important target that holds significant promise for millions of people suffering from allergies, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and a range of other inflammatory diseases. This work confirms that a key component of the body's own response to allergy-causing agents (allergens) can be targeted to reduce allergic reactions in mice.
At present, the majority of treatments for asthma and allergies focus on reducing symptoms such as an inflamed airway or runny nose and itchy eyes. Because allergies are essentially an over-the-top immune response to allergens (such as dust, peanuts, or insect bites), it is possible to give a treatment that dampens down the immune system. However this is very risky, leaving the person vulnerable to infection, and so is only used in the most extreme cases - for most people treatments that manage the symptoms of allergy are the best option. The BBSRC team led by Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck has shown that by targeting a molecule called p110delta it is possible to interfere in the allergic reaction before symptoms occur, but without shutting down the immune system.
p110delta is a member of a family of eight proteins called PI3Ks, which control important biological functions. Their activity is implicated in many different diseases including cancer and they are an important target for drugs. However, drugs that act on all PI3K family members tend to be toxic in the body. For this reason Professor Vanhaesebroeck's team uses genetic techniques to find out which PI3K family members are linked to specific diseases. By gaining a better understanding of each PI3K they hope to target drugs more specifically and reduce the potential for side effects.
The p110gamma member of the PI3K family had previously been implicated in allergic reactions and was thought to be more important than p110delta. However, in the current study, Prof Vanhaesebroeck's team has confirmed that p110delta, but not p110gamma, is important for allergic reactions in a mouse model. These results will help to inform and drive decisions in industry to prioritise which PI3K family members should be targeted for further investment and development. The next step to develop p110delta blockers is now ongoing in industry, and is expected to proceed into the preclinical arena in humans in the near future.
Lead author of the study, Dr Khaled Ali said: "p110delta was first identified in 1997 and, and although we had our suspicions, at that time we had no idea how important it would turn out to be. This work shows that we have the potential to take control of the body's reaction to an allergen and prevent symptoms from occurring."
Professor Vanhaesebroeck added: "This work confirms our previous findings and shows once and for all that in an allergic reaction it is p110delta that is the key player among the PI3K molecules. We are very hopeful that a drug for human patients can be developed in the very near future. This approach offers the potential for therapies for asthma and allergies that target the real causes, not just symptoms."
Professor Nigel Brown, BBSRC Director of Science and Technology, said: "Allergies alone cause misery for millions every year and is of significant cost the UK due to lost productivity. This research, basic bioscience funded by BBSRC, together with industry collaboration could mean an entirely new way of dealing with asthma and allergies."
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences