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EuroDYNA takes lid off the genome
Date:6/13/2008

sms, from bacteria to eukarya. PRR was discovered in the 1970s, but here again the detailed mechanisms are only now being elicited. At the EuroDYNA conference, Simone Sabbioneda from the University of Sussex presented new findings about one of the key PRR mechanisms called Translesion DNA Synthesis (TLS). This project, like some of the others, involved direct observation of processes as they take place in living cells, in this case using a technique called Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching. This comprises an optical microscope combined with a probe to observe the radiation emitted (the fluorescence) by molecules within a cell in response to a laser source. Such work is yielding important clues on how the PRR pathways work, hoping to help in the long term campaign to find novel, more specific, treatments for cancer, without the side effects of current therapies based on surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy.

One EuroDYNA project however yielded a more immediate insight into a treatment already used to alleviate the symptoms of another important disease, MS (multiple sclerosis). Pavel Kovarik from the University of Vienna's Department of Microbiology and Immunology noted that the only compound capable of alleviating MS symptoms was the protein interferon beta. This resembles the interferon produced naturally by the body in response to infection, but until now it has not been known how it relieves symptoms for MS sufferers. However Kovarik and colleagues have shown that interferon works by upregulating (increasing production of) members of the protein family Tristetraprolin (TTP), which have an anti-inflammatory affect by in turn inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory agents. "We have demonstrated a novel function for interferon," said Kovarik. By understanding how it works, there is the potential for delivering interferon beta more effectively for treating MS.

There were other projects within EuroDYNA with great therapeutic potential,
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Contact: Astrid Lunkes
alunkes@esf.org
33-388-762-172
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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