Experimental work pointing to a therapy for alleviating mucositis -- a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients or patients prepared for bone marrow transplantation – has been achieved by an international team of researchers from the US and Israel headed by scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah (left) and Naama Kanarek
Mucositis is a strong inflammatory reaction of the mucosal lining of the digestive system, particularly the gut. Mucositis is often a major reason for premature suspension of anti-cancer therapy. As of today, there has been no effective means of preventing mucositis or its treatment.
The research group at the Hebrew University specializes in genetic engineering of mouse models (GEMMs) of inflammation and cancer. Naama Kanarek, a doctoral student at the Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research and the Institute for Medical Research Israel–Canada at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine, constructed a mouse model designed to study the effect of deleting a gene encoding the enzyme beta-TrCP.
This enzyme was discovered in the laboratory of Hebrew University Prof. Yinon Ben-Neriah 15 years ago, in collaboration with the Israeli Nobel Laureate Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, as a major regulator of inflammatory cascades.
Kanarek found that beta-TrCP deletion in the gut causes mucosal DNA damage, mimicking the effect of chemotherapy and irradiation. Similarly to human patients, she showed that a severe mucositis reaction occurred in mice who were genetically engineered to be beta-TrCP-deficient.
Tracing the pathological basis of the mouse mucositis revealed that the source of the problem was Interleukin-1 (IL-1 beta), a protein secreted by the stressed mucosa. IL-1 beta was found to abnormally open the gut lining, allowing gut bacteria to penetrate and destroy the gut interior. Most importantly was Kanarek’s observation that treating the mice with an antibody which blocks IL-1 beta prevents the onset of mucositis in the beta-TrCP-deficient mice.
Based on these findings, the researchers proposed that IL-1b beta blocking reagents, like Anakinra (Kineret), which is used for treating certain chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, should be tried for preventing mucositis in humans.
The work of the researchers was published recently in the American journal PNAS.
(A higher resolution version of this photo is available via e-mail upon request)
CONTACT:Jerry Barach, Hebrew University Foreign Press Liaison
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology