An enzyme found in nearly all animal and human cells acts as a natural brake to prevent potentially deadly runaway inflammation, UCSF scientists have discovered. The discovery in research with mice suggests a promising target for treating a range of inflammatory diseases in which the bodys immune reaction to bacterial invasion spirals out of control, the researchers report.
The enzyme, known as A20, controls the first step in the series of signals that unleash immune system soldiers against a foreign microbe, the scientists found. The enzymes action, they discovered, blocks signals from pivotal receptors on immune cells, known as toll-like receptors (TLRs), that directly sense the presence of dangerous bacteria and other microbes.
The research shows that A20 prevents over-reactions of the immune system to blood infections known as sepsis -- a life-threatening condition in which bacteria invade the bloodstream. Unchecked by A20, the new research shows, an over-reactive immune response can lead to a deadly collapse of blood pressure. Because bacteria are plentiful in our intestines, the protein may also control the immune reaction that can cause inflammatory bowel disease, the research shows.
Wallace Ravven | EurekAlert!
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MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
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