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Enzyme involved in inflammatory bowel disease discovered at Penn State College of Medicine
Date:6/2/2009

el of IBD and in humans with active IBD. Bond explained, "The defect in the human meprin gene most associated with ulcerative colitis is in a region that regulates production of the meprin protein."

The researchers concluded that a particular defect in the MEP1A gene is an indicator of vulnerability to IBD, particularly ulcerative colitis. The association of the meprin gene with Crohn's disease remains to be characterized but disruption of the meprin gene affects the severity of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Bond summarized the findings by saying, "There's the possibility of predicting who will be susceptible to IBD, and diagnosing the disease with this information. If we could increase meprin production, or replace it with an equivalent enzyme, there are therapeutic possibilities. More studies are needed to understand how meprin influences inflammation, but this is the first association of meprin levels as a key factor in the severity of IBD."


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Contact: Matthew G. Solovey
msolovey@hmc.psu.edu
717-531-0003 x287127
Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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