Navigation Links
A*STAR scientists discover 'switch' critical to wound healing
Date:3/8/2013

Patients with diseases such as diabetes suffer from painful wounds that take a long time to heal making them more susceptible to infections that could even lead to amputations. A*STAR's discovery paves the way for therapeutics to improve healing of such chronic wounds, which are a significant burden to patients.

1. Scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) have identified a molecular "switch" that controls the migration of skin cells necessary for wounds to close and heal. This is especially significant for diabetics and other patients who suffer from chronic wounds, wounds that do not heal or take years to do so, which are vulnerable to infections and could lead to amputations. This switch mechanism may hold the key to developing therapeutics that will reduce or prevent chronic wounds.

2. The scientists discovered that a tiny "micro-RNA" molecule, called miR-198, controls several different processes that help wound healing, by keeping them switched off in healthy skin. When skin is wounded, the manufacture of miR-198 quickly stops and the levels of miR-198 drop, switching on many wound healing processes.

3. In the non-healing wounds of diabetics, miR-198 does not disappear and wound healing remains blocked. This therefore identifies miR-198 as a potential diagnostic biomarker for non-healing wounds. These findings were recently published in the prestigious journal Nature .

4. The research leading to this discovery was carried out in collaboration with A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute (BII), National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore and Jnana Sanjeevini Diabetes Center, Bangalore, India.

Importance of this discovery

5. Chronic wounds in patients with diabetes are a major global health burden and the most common cause of lower extremity amputations. In Singapore, diabetes is the fifth most common medical condition diagnosed and one in nine people aged 18 to 69 has diabetes. Chronic wounds also tend to affect the elderly and disabled patients, especially those confined to a wheelchair or bed-bound. Unfortunately, chronic wounds are currently poorly understood and insufficiently treated.

6. Dr. Prabha Sampath , principal investigator at IMB and lead author of the paper, said, "Our research provides a comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of the wound healing process. Moving forward, we hope to translate this research into improved patient outcomes. We can now build on this research, to see how we can modulate the defective switch in chronic wounds by targeting miR-198 and its interacting molecules, to develop new strategies for treating chronic wounds."

7. Professor Birgitte Lane, Executive Director of IMB, said, "This switch appears to be an entirely new regulatory component in wound healing, and probably a very important one. Poor wound healing is a major healthcare burden, and this discovery is particularly timely in the face of aging populations and the sharp global rise in diabetes. The finding gives us a platform from which to develop therapies that could significantly reduce chronic wounds and improve healthcare."

An FSTL1-miR-198 molecular 'see-saw' switch.

8. The information necessary to express microRNA-198 (miR-198) and follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1) protein are found in a single "message" produced by the cell. However, miR-198 and FSTL1 protein cannot be produced at the same time it can only be one or the other. These two molecules also have opposite roles: miR-198 (found in unwounded skin) inhibits skin cell migration and wound healing, whereas FSTL1 protein (expressed after injury) promotes skin cell migration and wound healing. A regulatory switch dictates their expression, and hence controls the "see-saw" between inactive resting skin cells and the cell migration necessary for wound healing.

9. Dr. Sampath and her team showed that healthy unwounded skin contained high levels of miR-198 but no FSTL1 protein. They demonstrated that these high levels of miR-198 prevent skin cell migration by suppressing several genes, such as PLAU, LAMC2 and DIAPH1 , which are needed for different aspects of the wound healing process. However upon injury, miR-198 is switched off in the wound by a signal from transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1). This allows FSTL1 to now be made instead, and the skin migration genes to be unblocked, promoting migration of skin cells into the wound area to drive skin wound healing.

10. The scientists further examined skin samples of chronic non-healing ulcer wounds from patients with diabetes mellitus. They observed that, unlike healthy skin that had been injured, there remained high levels of miR-198 (inhibiting skin cell migration and wound healing) and an absence of FSTL1 protein (promoting skin cell migration upon wounding), indicating that this "switch" is defective in chronic wounds. (Annex A)


'/>"/>

Contact: Ong Siok Ming (Ms)
ong_siok_ming@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6254
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
2. Fruit flies light the way for A*STAR scientists to pinpoint genetic changes that spell cancer
3. A*STAR scientists identify potential drug target for inflammatory diseases including cancers
4. Singapore scientists led by A*STARs GIS identify 4 mechanisms that contribute to gastric cancers
5. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
6. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
7. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
8. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
9. Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
10. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
11. NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A*STAR scientists discover 'switch' critical to wound healing
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management ... radiology marketing programs at the annual Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs conference, ... Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. Nine awards are given out in five categories. They ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... an official 2017 partnership with The Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin. For the ... UVB rays with Thinksport’s broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen. , “We are thrilled to provide ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Rare Disease ... will be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted by the Rare Disease ... Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, will be conducting interviews ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Rosica Communications, a national PR ... media management, corporate communications, SEO and cause marketing, is opening an office in ... Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, Rosica will focus on expanding its footprint. , ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Pink ... publication where generations converge and explore the world from different perspectives. By providing ... enables readers to gain understanding, increase empathy, and find greater happiness. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... to their offering. ... latest research Hemophilia Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides drug ... answers the following questions: What are the ... positioned in the Global Hemophilia market? What are the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine ... Jennifer Smith commended South Central EMS today for ... naloxone, a life-saving overdose reversal drug. The recognition event ... and overdose survivor who was saved due to the ... significant part of fighting the opioid epidemic is making ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Medical information groups within the ... self-service capabilities to manage inquiries from external stakeholders ... New research from consulting leader Best Practices, LLC ... website portals where HCPs can sign on and ... many findings to emerge from the new study ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: