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Researchers find molecular switch that directs proinflammatory response

17.01.2011

London – Researchers from Imperial College in London have identified a protein that acts as a master switch in macrophages, determining whether they promote or inhibit inflammation. Overexpression of the transcriptional regulator IRF5 induced transcription of proinflammatory signal molecules in macrophages such as interleukin 12 subunit p40 (IL-12p40), IL-12p35 and IL-23p19, according to the team headed by Dr Irina Udalova, and blocked immunosilencers such as IL-10 leading to Th1- and TH17 responses (Nature Immunology). In genetically modified mice unable to produce IRF5, they observed significantly lower levels of interleukin signals that stimulate inflammation. The findings suggest that blocking the production of IRF5 in macrophages might be an effective way of treating a wide range of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, boosting IRF5 levels might help to treat people whose immune systems are compromised. Dr Udalova's group is now studying how IRF5 works at a molecular level and which other proteins it interacts with so that they can design ways to block its effects. There is a high medical need for new anti-inflammatory treatment as 30% of arthritis patients are non-responsive to anti-TNF-immunosupressive therapy.

UKUK

02.04.2012

London - The not-for-profit UK Biobank, the most comprehensive health study in Britain, is now accessible to researchers from industry and academia. The resource, which contains some 1,000 pieces of health and lifestyle...

UKUK

21.03.2012

London – The British Wellcome Trust announced on 20 March that it will launch a £200m business to invest directly in healthcare and life sciences companies. The business, up to now running under its working title Project Sigma,...

UKUK

07.03.2012

Nanopore sequencer Oxford Nanopore Technologies, a UK firm that promises its third-generation technology could theoretically sequence a human genome in 15 minutes, impressed scientists with the first public presentation of its...

UKUK

06.03.2012

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is further strengthening its activity in the area of rare diseases. The London-based pharma giant has signed an early-stage deal to develop and commercialise treatments for lysosomal storage disorders...

UKUK

27.02.2012

London/Montreal - Angiochem will collaborate with British pharma trust GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plc on treatments for lysosomal storage diseases (LSD). London-based GSK will pay $300m, including up to $31.5m in upfront cash and...

UKUK

08.02.2012

London - GlaxoSmithKline re-adjusts its €3.7bn R&D budget. Following a review, three of 38 R&D units will be cut and four new ones installed, the UK drug company said in a statement on 7 Februray. Furthermore, six of the...

UKUK

03.02.2012

London - AstraZeneca tries to shed some weight, anticipating a tough year ahead. 7,300 jobs will be gone soon, the Anglo-Swedish drug company said in a statement. Research and development operations will be cancelled in...

UKUK

16.01.2012

Newhouse – An example of Schumpeter's dictum of creative destruction can be witnessed in Scotland. A former research site of US-pharma company Merck will be reborn as a biotech science park. BioCity Scotland Ltd, a joint venture...

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