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Discovery of relationship between proteins may impact development of cancer therapies
Date:4/19/2011

n-Hodgkin's lymphomas. Examples of autoimmune diseases in which LMP1 is implicated are rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

LMP1 is produced by a normally latent gene that is expressed when Epstein-Barr virus, a herpes virus that infects greater than 90 percent of humans, becomes reactivated from its inactive state. This can occur in flares of autoimmune disease, and in people who are immune-deficient. Epstein-Barr virus can thus become activated in cases of late-stage AIDS or organ and bone marrow transplant recipients who are immunosuppressed to prevent rejection of the transplant.

While LMP1 contributes to the formation of a tumor, it isn't an ideal target for therapeutics. LMP1 is a protein that is being constantly internalized from the cell surface, prompting researchers to instead target the signaling pathway.

"(Researchers) first thought you would be targeting the normal protein (CD40), too," said senior study author Gail Bishop, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the UI Carver College of Medicine and director of the Immunology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. "What our lab has discovered over the years is that LMP1 produces CD40-like effects using the same proteins in different ways, and therefore that opens a window to targeting just LMP1."

Arcipowski currently is researching how TRAF6 is activating the LMP1 signaling pathway. "If you figured out exactly which part of TRAF6 was binding to LMP1, you could target that specific interaction while leaving TRAF6's association with CD40 intact," Arcipowski said.


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Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-356-7124
University of Iowa Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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