Collagenase-2 is a member of a protein family called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, collagenase-2 is MMP8), a large group of enzymes that break down collagen and other components of the body's connective tissue. MMPs have been implicated in contributing to MS by degrading the tissue that maintains the blood-brain barrier, thus allowing unwanted cells to invade and break down nerves. In fact, MMPs are found in elevated amounts in the blood and spinal fluid of diseased individuals.
Using a mouse model of MS, Carlos Lopez-Otin and colleagues performed two analyses on MMP8 to determine how relevant this protein is to the disease. First, they developed mutant mice deficient in the gene for MMP8 and found that these mice had a fewer invading cells in the brain, fewer damaged nerves, and a general improvement in their clinical profile.
They also gave diseased mice a drug that blocked MMP8 activity and found that this, too, could reduce the severity of disease symptoms. Taken together, these promising findings provide the first causal evidence for MMP8 in the development of MS, and offer a new therapeutic target.
Nick Zagorski | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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