Navigation Links
From common colds to deadly lung diseases, 1 protein plays key role
Date:12/9/2013

An international team of researchers has zeroed in on a protein that plays a key role in many lung-related ailments, from seasonal coughing and hacking to more serious diseases such as MRSA infections and cystic fibrosis.

The finding advances knowledge about this range of illnesses and may point the way to eventually being able to prevent infections such as MRSA.

The key protein is called MUC5B. It's one of two sugar-rich proteins, with similar molecular structure, that are found in the mucus that normally and helpfully coats airway surfaces in the nose and lung. The other is MUC5AC.

"We knew these two proteins are associated with diseases in which the body produces too much mucus, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and COPD," said researcher Chris Evans, PhD, an associate professor in the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "We also knew that many patients with asthma or COPD have as much as 95 percent less MUC5B in their lungs than healthy individuals, so we wanted to see if one of these is the bad player in chronic lung diseases."

The researchers compared mice that lacked one or the other of the proteins. The animals without MUC5B got sick. Those that lacked MUC5AC were fine. The findings, in a paper co-authored by Evans, other CU faculty members and researchers from several other states as well as Mexico and England, were reported today in the journal Nature.

The paper also noted that the immune systems of the mice without Muc5b failed over time. That made the mice more vulnerable to infections including the MRSA "superbug," a major source of infections in hospitals and in the community, especially in people whose immune systems are compromised, such as cancer patients.

That has interesting implications for anyone with a runny nose. Getting rid of your mucus may make you more comfortable and may help patients with chronic lung diseases," Evans said. "But if you block it too effectively, this actually could be harmful in the long run. If a treatment gets rid of MUC5B, it may make people more vulnerable to additional infections."

An oddity of the proteins being examined is that they are encoded in a part of the human genome that is highly variable. Twenty percent of the population carries a DNA mutation that makes them produce about 30 times more MUC5B than normal.

More research is needed to learn whether people with that mutation are more or less susceptible to infections, including MRSA, said Evans, who is in the CU medical school's Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. It's also unclear what's happening at a molecular level that allows MUC5B to help control certain infections.

"Knowing the key role of MUC5B allows us now to focus on how the protein works and, we hope, to find ways to help patients with these diseases," Evans said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dan Meyers
dan.meyers@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Texting in College Classrooms Common, Distracting
2. Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant
3. Long-term neuropsychological impairment is common in acute lung injury survivors
4. Overuse Injuries Common Among Female College Athletes
5. Common Blood Pressure Drug Safe for Heart Failure: Study
6. Test links strains of common parasite to severe illness in US newborns
7. Common Plastics Chemical Might Boost Diabetes Risk
8. Off-Label Drug Use Appears Common
9. Global, common approach to pharmaceutical supply chain integrity the focus of workshop
10. Slow-growing babies more likely in normal-weight women; Less common in obese pregnancies
11. Common Blood Pressure Drugs May Not Cut Colon Cancer Risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts ... upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife ... and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic ... most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) sponsors ... on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, ... to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. Venture ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... To succeed under value-based payments, healthcare ... unsure how to move forward, given the need to sustain current operations. PYA ... to an organization’s specific needs. , PYA Principal Martie Ross states, “Healthcare providers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The current ... environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates ... drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of ... but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: ... , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with ... , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice ... Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: