A new player in the battle against hepatitis prevents inflammation and the death of liver cells
Scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) have again achieved a breakthrough in research on hepatitis. The researchers, connected to Ghent University, have discovered the function of one of the most important proteins involved in hepatitis. Using a mouse model, they have shown that the protein prevents inflammation of the liver as well as the death of liver cells. This discovery can form the basis for the development of a new therapy in the battle against hepatitis in humans.
Hepatitis, a liver disorder
Hepatitis is a collective term for a number of inflammations of the liver whose symptoms strongly resemble each other. These inflammations can have a wide variety of causes, such as alcohol abuse or infection by a hepatitis virus. Hepatitis B and C, for example, are caused by a virus through contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected persons. In some cases, the person remains a carrier of the virus, and chronic hepatitis and even cancer of the liver can develop.
In Belgium, at least 700,000 people have had hepatitis B, and 5%-10% of these persons are still chronic carriers of the virus. Each year, there are about 6000 new infections. The number of people with hepatitis C comes to 80,000-100,000 - and 60%-80% of these persons develop chronic hepatitis. There is a vaccination against hepatitis B, but none against hepatitis C.
A new role for the protein ABIN-1
TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) is produced by our body, normally in small quantities. In inflammations of the liver, excessive TNF production activates the mechanisms that lead to inflammation and the death of liver cells and liver tissue. In addition, excessive TNF in liver cells stimulates the protein NF-kB, which is also responsible for the inflammation of the liver. This makes NF-kB an attractive target for a therapy that would neutralize the inflammation. However, an ideal therapy also needs to prevent the death of the liver cells.
The new player that this research brings a step closer to the realization of such a therapy is the protein ABIN-1. From previous research by the VIB research group - led by Rudi Beyaert - it turns out that ABIN-1 inhibits the action of NF-kB. Now, Andy Wullaert and several colleagues from this team have shown that an extra dose of ABIN-1 provides a double protection to liver cells in mice. With an elevated production of ABIN-1, this protein will neutralize the inflammation caused by NF-kB and also prevent the complete death of liver cells after induction by TNF.
ABIN-1 in the treatment of liver disorders
This research discloses the double protective action of ABIN-1 in liver disorders. NF-kB, also responsible for inflammations, is inhibited by an elevated presence of ABIN-1. In addition, ABIN-1 also counteracts the death of liver cells. Further research can lead to new therapies in the battle against hepatitis, through which - by increasing the presence of ABIN-1 in the liver - one can inhibit the inflammation and prevent dell death.
Ann Van Gysel | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
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...
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....
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...
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...