The NIH team’s report will be available the evening of September 19 online in The New England Journal of Medicine. The Tokyo group published its findings in Nature last month.
“Understanding the genetic cause of this rare immunological disorder is a signal accomplishment, revealing information that has been sought for decades,” says Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of NIH. "The immunological insights from this study not only promise to open new therapeutic doors for Job’s syndrome, but also provide new leads for treating other immunodeficiency diseases.”
Only about 250 cases of Job’s syndrome (pronounced like “robe,” and technically known as hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome, or HIES) have been reported since it was first discovered in 1966. While individuals with Job’s syndrome often live long lives, life-threatening complications from basic infections are a constant concern. Identifying the specific gene implicated in the disease could benefit scientific study of several diseases that afflict people with Job’s syndrome, including infections caused by Aspergillus, Candida and Staphylococcus.
Job’s syndrome makes the immune system extremely sensitive to invading microbes. People with the syndrome often have multiple, recurring ailments, such as skin infections that cause lesions and boils, and lung infections that cause pneumonia. They also are at high risk of breaking bones, having a curved spine, and experiencing facial and dental developmental difficulties. There is no cure for Job’s syndrome, although antibiotics and antifungals are used to prevent and treat the infections associated with the disorder.
Steven M. Holland, M.D., chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, led the research team that over several years assembled the patient group that helped unravel the 41-year-old mystery. A key finding involved work with proteins that alert the body to increase production of white blood cells, increase immune-enhancing chemicals, and increase their killing of invaders. These signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) proteins help alert and direct immune system responses to stop invading pathogens. In 48 Job’s syndrome patients, Dr. Holland’s team sequenced the gene that makes STAT3 protein and discovered that mutations in the gene causes Job’s syndrome.
The team became interested in the role of the STAT3 gene after observing increased levels of some immune system responses in Job’s patients, but inadequate levels of response to others, indicating a defect in immune system signaling. Researchers found mutations in the STAT3 gene in 48 patients with Job’s, but not in 48 unaffected relatives or 158 unaffected people in a control group.
“We found that Job’s is associated with excessive immune reaction, not deficient immune reaction as many people suspected,” says Dr. Holland. “STAT3 is the key, and it can become a really powerful tool to dissect other aspects of immunity at a molecular and functional level.” For example, in studies done in mice, other investigators have demonstrated specific roles for STAT3 in bone and organ development, preservation and inflammation.
Ken Pekoc | EurekAlert!
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
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...
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...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences