This week, researchers report new findings that elucidate the role of NOD2, a key molecular player in Crohns Disease, in the cellular signaling pathways that control inflammatory responses. NOD2s clinical relevance is clear from the fact that it is encoded by a Crohns Disease susceptibility gene. Understanding NOD2 has posed a particularly intriguing challenge for researchers because it appears able to somehow both activate and inhibit inflammatory cytokine responses in the cell. The work is reported by Lewis Cantley and colleagues at Harvard Medical School.
Crohns Disease is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract and is histologically characterized by inflammation, epithelial ulceration, fissure formation, and stenosis of segments of the entire gastrointestinal tract. The disease leads to significant morbidity and is thought to result from an inappropriate immune response to bacteria that normally inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Because Crohns Disease is characterized by too much initial acute inflammation, and, subsequently, too little subsequent negative regulation of that inflammatory response, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways appear to be faulty.
Previous work has shown that NOD2 acts as an intracellular receptor for bacteria and bacterial breakdown products, and because it appears capable of both activating and inhibiting inflammatory responses, NOD2 serves as a key integration point for the gastrointestinal tracts response to infectious organisms. The biochemical nature of NOD2s dichotomous role is unknown. In the new work, the researchers shed light on this problem by showing that NOD2 activation leads to the modification of NEMO, a central component of the NF-kB signaling pathway controlling inflammatory responses. NOD2 mutations responsible for Crohns Disease cause polymorphisms that prevent the NOD2 protein from properly modifying NEMO. These results suggest that this previously unrecognized modification on a component of the major inflammatory signaling pathway in the body helps to integrate inflammatory signals. These results also suggest that this signaling mechanism may ultimately represent a pharmacological target for the amelioration of Crohns Disease.
Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
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08.12.2017 | Information Technology
08.12.2017 | Information Technology