Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Suspect protein found to play protective role in chronic lung disease

04.01.2005


A cell surface protein regarded as a potential troublemaker in the lungs plays an unexpected protective role mitigating the damage caused by chronic pulmonary diseases such as asthma, University of Texas Medical School at Houston scientists report in the January edition of The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI).

Genetically knocking the protein out of a specialized strain of mouse that models chronic lung disease resulted in higher levels of inflammation, mucus, and tissue damage in the lungs as well as early death in the mice lacking the protein, researchers found.

A separate commentary by University of North Carolina researchers in the same issue of the journal calls the finding "surprising and important" in light of the fact that suppressing the protein is being investigated as a potential treatment for asthma. "Some believe this receptor protein plays a detrimental role and if you block it, you could improve asthma. This study shows that if you remove this protein from a diseased lung, you’ll make lung inflammation and damage worse," said senior author Michael R. Blackburn, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the UT Medical School at Houston. By completely removing the protein, known as the A1 adenosine receptor, from a diseased line of mice, "we can be sure that what we are dealing with are A1 receptor responses," Blackburn said. "In our model of adenosine dependent lung disease, it appears that the A1 receptor plays an important role turning on anti-inflammatory and tissue protective pathways."



The A1 receptor also has been associated with bronchoconstriction in asthmatic airways by other researchers. The receptor, A1AR for short, is one of four proteins found on cell surfaces that connect with the signaling molecule adenosine. Adenosine, a byproduct of stress and tissue damage, is found in elevated amounts in the lungs of asthmatics, Blackburn said.

Earlier work by Blackburn and others indicates adenosine itself causes damage in the lung that resembles that seen in chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema, for example) and pulmonary fibrosis. Understanding adenosine and its interaction with the four types of receptor is critical to determining its role in disease. "We believe if you could control specific aspects of the adenosine signaling pathway, you could control all three of these diseases," Blackburn noted "It will be important to examine the interplay of adenosine receptor signaling in other model systems as well as in the lungs of people suffering chronic lung disease to determine how these pathways might be manipulated to treat the progression of asthma and COPD."

Blackburn and UT Medical School at Houston Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Chairman Rod Kellems, Ph.D., earlier developed a strain of mice lacking the protein that normally clears excess adenosine. These knockout mice have elevated levels of the signaling molecule and swiftly develop a lethal respiratory disease that combines the features of asthma, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis.

The mice provide a research model for understanding the adenosine signaling pathway because they permit researchers to knock out one of the four receptors at a time and observe the effects of the knocked out receptor on the severity of pulmonary disease in an environment of elevated adenosine. This double-knockout approach was employed in the JCI paper.

Blackburn’s team, including Chun-Xiao Sun, Ph.D., lead author of the JCI paper and a senior research associate in biochemistry, is examining the receptors’ roles one by one.

JCI paper co-authors were Jurgen Schnermann, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Digestive Disorders and Kidneys at the National Institutes of Health, who produced the original A1AR knockout mice; Jose Molina, a research assistant in biochemistry, and Hays Young and Jonathon Volmer, graduate students in the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS).

Blackburn also is on the GSBS faculty.

Scott Merville | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uth.tmc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>