Navigation Links
Protein could offer target to reduce lung damage from smoking-caused emphysema

An international research team has identified a lung protein that appears to play a key role in smoking-related emphysema and have crafted an antibody to block its activity, Indiana University scientists reported.

The research, conducted in mice, suggests that the protein, a cytokine named EMAPII, could provide a target for drugs to treat emphysema, said Irina Petrache, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The research was posted online May 16 for the June edition of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that affects nearly 5 million people in the U.S alone, is caused by the destruction of cells that transfer oxygen from the lungs to the blood, along with inflammation in the lungs. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of emphysema.

The cytokine EMAPII a type of cell-signaling molecule is normally part of the process of early lung development. Research had previously found that EMAPII could cause the death of cells that line blood vessels endothelial cells and inflammation, but it had not been identified as the molecular culprit at work when cigarette smoking inflicted its damage on the lungs.

"The fact that we could have a single target affecting two major processes made us excited about looking for it in response to smoking," said Dr. Petrache, the Floyd and Reba Smith Investigator in Respiratory Disease at IU.

When the researchers induced emphysema in mice exposed to cigarette smoke, tests showed the mice had elevated levels of the EMAPII cytokine. In other tests, the scientists also found elevated levels of the cytokine in the lungs of patients with COPD.

The researchers also found that the cell death caused by the EMAPII resulted in the release of enzymes that cause more production of EMAPII, causing a vicious cycle of elevated cytokine levels and more cell death.

Members of the research team, led by first author Matthias Clauss, Ph.D., IU associate research professor of cellular and integrative physiology, created an antibody designed to specifically target EMAPII and block its activity. The mice received an inhaled version of the antibody during their third month of smoking. They then were exposed to a fourth month of smoking without the treatment.

The mice receiving the treatment had significantly less cell death and inflammation and improved lung function compared to the smoking mice who did not receive the treatment. Moreover the benefits to the treated mice continued even after the treatment stopped.

Next steps include optimizing the duration of the antibody treatments to determine whether they continue to have an effect after the animals have stopped smoking, she said. Plans also call for work to measure levels of the cytokine in large numbers of human emphysema and COPD patients to determine whether it can be used as a biomarker to measure the presence, severity or type of lung disease.

Considerable research work remains before an EMAPII antibody might be ready for testing in humans, Dr. Petrache said.


Contact: Eric Schoch
Indiana University School of Medicine

Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern researchers find protein that might be key to cutting cancer cells blood supply
2. Researchers show heparan sulfate adjusts functions of growth factor proteins
3. Weizmann Institute scientists discover: A protein that contributes to obesity
4. Illinois professor chairs committee that recommends immediate calories, protein for TBI
5. Several baffling puzzles in protein molecular structure solved with new method
6. Discovery identifies elaborate G-protein network in plants
7. Researchers combine active proteins with material derived from fruit fly
8. Researchers get a first look at the mechanics of membrane proteins
9. Polarized microscopy technique shows new details of how proteins are arranged
10. Secrets of a precision protein machine
11. Starch-controlling gene fuels more protein in soybean plants
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)...  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with ... IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, such ... and, when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER ... local retail location at no cost. By leveraging this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... (EDC) software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its ... Annual conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, ... tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The ... of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
Breaking Biology Technology: