When the body thinks it is under attack, it defends itself in the best way possible, for instance by starting a defence inflammation.
This reaction is highly appropriate if the enemy is an influenza virus or something else that actually needs to be fought. However, sometimes the body misinterprets the signals, and starts a defence inflammation against a non-existent enemy.
The result could be so-called autoimmune diseases: psoriasis, arthritis, Bechterew’s, asthma, allergies, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease – and numerous others.
The list is longer than we care to imagine, and affects large parts of the population.
“Judas enzyme” sends the wrong message
Professor Berit Johansen at the Department of Biology at NTNU previously discovered which enzyme that misinterprets signals and reprograms cells to divide much faster than they should – thus provoking disease.
The enzyme is called phospholipase A2, less formally known as the “Judas enzyme”.
Now, Professor Johansen and her research group have created various stop molecules that prevent the “Judas enzyme” from sending the wrong messages to the cell nucleus. By doing so, the inflammatory reaction can be prevented.
One of these stop molecules was recently tested in mice infected with psoriasis. The results are more than promising: Every single mouse got better, in all respects.
In addition, it turned out that a high dosage yielded better effect than a low dosage.
Medical testing right around the corner
This discovery means that a substantial part of the road to a new type of medication is history. The next step is testing on humans.
Early next year, the substance will be available as a cream, ready to be applied on the first test persons. This testing will take place in France.
Professor Berit Johansen’s new firm, Avexxin, is also testing out two other molecules, one against rheumatoid arthritis, and one against nephritis.
By Hege Tunstad and Lisa Olstad/Gemini Research Journal
Nina Tveter | alfa
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences