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Pitt/Iowa team finds cellular structural molecule can be toxic: Makes pneumonia worse
Date:9/20/2010

in gene were more likely to have severe pneumonia.

"This research was inspired by the knowledge that some people have a mutation in this protein, a condition called Byler's disease, and they are more likely to get pneumonia," Dr. Mallampalli noted.

In other experiments, mice with the gene mutation and pneumonia were treated with an engineered protein fragment that attached to the cardiolipin binding site, preventing the molecule from interacting with surfactant and ultimately reducing lung injury and improving survival.

"A similar strategy might work in people and could be a very useful option at a time when we have bacterial strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics," said Mark Gladwin, M.D., chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Pitt School of Medicine.

Dr. Mallampalli and his colleagues are now working on ways to deliver proteins into the lung that tightly bind cardiolipin with the goal of translating this approach for testing in pneumonia patients.


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Contact: Anita Srikameswaran
SrikamAV@upmc.edu
412-578-9193
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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