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JCI online early table of contents: April 1, 2011
Date:4/1/2011

EDITOR'S PICK Cat's out of the bag: PUMA contributes to ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease thought to be related to aberrant activation of the immune system in the intestine. Recent research has also suggested that regulated cell death (apoptosis) of the intestinal epithelial cells is a contributing factor to the pathogenesis. However, the molecular mechanisms that control the cellular response to inflammation are incompletely understood.

In this paper, Lin Zhang, at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, found that in mice, a protein called PUMA (p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis) was responsible for inducing apoptosis in the intestinal epithelium in response to inflammation; the absence of PUMA inhibited the inflammation-induced death of intestinal epithelial cells and development of colitis. PUMA levels were also increased in the diseased tissues of UC patients. The researchers are hopeful that PUMA could represent a promising target for the development of new UC therapies.

TITLE: PUMA-mediated intestinal epithelial apoptosis contributes to ulcerative colitis in humans and mice

AUTHOR CONTACT:
Lin Zhang
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Phone: 412-623-1009; Fax: 412-623-7778; E-mail: zhanglx@upmc.edu

View this article at: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/42917?key=0975eddb1bfd896d7140

EDITOR'S PICK Gag order: how DNA silencing can promote cancer

Cells control which genes they express by multiple mechanisms, one of which is the direct modification of DNA with small molecules. Methylation of genes effectively silences them, and excess DNA methylation, particularly of genes that control the cell cycle, is known to promote cancer formation. However, it is unclear whether t
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Contact: Kathryn Claiborn
press_releases@the-jci.org
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Source:Eurekalert

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