Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New protein discovery helps researchers understand autoimmune diseases

06.03.2008
APS-1 is an rare hereditary disease where the immune system attacks the body’s own organs.

Within the framework of a major EU project, coordinated by Professor Olle Kämpe at Uppsala university, scientists have now managed to identify a protein that opens new possibilities of understanding both APS-1 and other autoimmune disorders. The discovery is being published in the American journal The New England Journal of Medicine.

The newly discovered protein, which goes by the name of NALP5, constitutes the target for the immune system’s attacks on the parathyroid glands in the disease APS-1. This finding enables researchers to more closely study the first phase of autoimmune disorders in general, where immune cells, instead of attacking alien bacteria and viruses, erroneously attack the body’s own tissue.

The protein functions as a target for the immune cells in humans, but also in animal models for the disease that have the same genetic defect as APS-1 patients.

“This means now, for the first time, in an experimental situation we will be able to compare the immune defense with exactly the same target protein in humans and in an animal model,” says Mohammad AliMohammadi at the Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, who made the discovery.

The parathyroid glands are the most recently described anatomical structures in humans. They were discovered in 1879 by scientists at Uppsala University and regulate the body’s calcium balance. The fact that the protein NALP5 was found in the parathyroid glands enhances our understanding of their functions. In the long run this discovery can make it possible to develop drugs and treatment methods for diseases producing disturbances in the calcium balance, such as osteoporosis.

In patients with APS-1 the parathyroid glands can be knocked out at a very young age, which can lead to severe cramp attacks that regular cramp treatment is powerless to alleviate. If the disease is not discovered, it therefore often leads to death. The new discovery also makes it possible to diagnose the disease early, so that patients can receive the appropriate treatment.

Johanna Blomqvist | alfa
Further information:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/358/10/1018

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>