Navigation Links
Mystery solved: Gold's power against autoimmune diseases defined

Gold compounds have been used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases for more than 75 years, but until now, how the metals work has been a mystery. Harvard Medical School researchers report in the Feb. 27 issue of Nature Chemical Biology that special forms of gold, platinum, and other classes of medicinal metals work by stripping bacteria and virus particles from the grasp of a key immune system protein.

"We were searching for a new drug to treat autoimmune diseases," says Brian DeDecker, PhD, HMS post-doctoral student in the Department of Cell Biology and a study co-author. At the time of this work, DeDecker was in the Harvard Medical School Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology, which uses powerful chemical tools to illuminate complex biological processes and provide new leads for drug development. "But instead we discovered a biochemical mechanism that may help explain how an old drug works."

DeDecker and co-author Stephen De Wall, PhD, undertook a large-scale search for new drugs that would suppress the function of an important component of the immune system, MHC class II proteins, which are associated with autoimmune diseases. MHC class II proteins normally hold pieces of invading bacteria and virus on the surface of specialized antigen presentation cells. Presentation of these pieces alerts other specialized recognition cells of the immune system called lymphocytes, which starts the normal immune response. Usually this response is limited to harmful bacteria and viruses, but sometimes this process goes awry and the immune system turns towards the body itself causing autoimmune diseases such as Juvenile diabetes, Lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

During their search through thousands of compounds they found that the known cancer drug, Cisplatin, a drug containing the metal platinum, directly stripped foreign molecules from the MHC class II protein. From there, they found that platinum was just one membe r of a class of metals, including a special form of gold, that all render MHC class II proteins inactive.

In subsequent experiments in cell culture, gold compounds were shown to render the immune system antigen presenting cells inactive, further strengthening this connection. These findings now give researches a mechanism of gold drug action that can be tested and explored directly in diseased tissues.

In 1890, a German doctor named Robert Koch found that gold effectively killed the bacteria that caused tuberculosis. In the 1930s, based on a widely held but probably erroneous connection at the time between tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis, a French doctor, Jacques Forestier, developed the use of gold drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Gold drugs have been used since then as an effective treatment for this and other autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, but treatment can take months for action and sometimes presents severe side effects which have diminished their use in recent years.

With this new understanding of how these metals function, it may now be possible to develop a new generation of gold-based drugs for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases that are more effective with fewer side effects.


'"/>

Source:Harvard Medical School


Related biology news :

1. 50-year-old Mystery Solved: Protein Tags Regulate Key Ion Channel
2. Mystery Blood Vessel Disorder Implicated In Mini Strokes
3. Mystery of fossilized trees is solved
4. Scientists Propose Sweeping Changes to Naming of Bird Neurosystems to Acknowledge Their True Brainpower
5. New drug shows promise as powerful anticancer agent
6. The evolutionary triumph of flower power
7. Researchers find promising cancer-fighting power of synthetic cell-signaling molecule
8. High-powered gene profiles provide clues to genes involved in common form of lung cancer
9. Mosaic mouse technique offers a powerful new tool to study diseases and genetics
10. Its electric: Cows show promise as powerplants
11. Lance Armstrong through a physiological lens: hard training boosts muscle power 8%
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016 BioCatch , the global leader ... patent portfolio, which grew to over 40 granted and pending patents. ... , , ... entitled " System, Device, and Method Estimating Force Applied to ... makers to forego costly hardware components needed to estimate the force and ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... BOSTON , Dec. 7, 2016   ... today announced the appointment of new CEO ... industry executive with decades of experience, has served ... and Cisco, where he specialized in expanding a ... emerging technology portfolios. He most recently served as ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Valencell , the leading innovator in performance biometric ... consecutive year of triple digit growth for its PerformTek ... 360 percent increase in companies who have acquired Valencell ... sales of its wrist and ear Benchmark™ sensor systems, ... hearables for fitness and healthcare applications. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Huffman Engineering, ... become a Wonderware Certified System Integrator Partner. Huffman Engineering is the only ... , “The System Integrator Partner certification gives customers confidence that our engineers are ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... EDMONTON , Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... the development and commercialization of immunotherapeutic products for ... has entered into an Antibody Manufacturing Development Program ... , USA) for its oregovomab antibody product. ... its Phase IIb clinical study in ovarian cancer ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016  Nordion, a standalone ... Atomics (GA), welcome today,s award by the United ... Administration (NNSA) of the Phase II cooperative agreement ... Nordion and the University of Missouri Research Reactor ... will support the establishment of a new, reliable ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016 The report "Acrylic Processing Aid Market by Polymer Type (PVC), ... Goods) - Global Forecast to 2026", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market size ... Million by 2026, registering an of CAGR of 6.2% between 2016 and 2026. ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: