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Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric OSA
Date:2/4/2010

pertinent genes, those with the most connectivity," explained Dr. Gozal. "We identified 47 genes and among those, two specific genes, both phosphatases, which are known to be very important at regulating communication in cells. Then we looked at the expression of the phosphatase protein and found that children with OSA have higher level of phosphatases in the tonsils." In particular, they focused on one protein called phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) that was expressed in children with OSA, but almost never expressed in the children with RI.

"We asked, 'What happens if we block this phosphatase?'" said Dr. Gozal. "Is this a potential target for pharmacological therapy?" Indeed, they found that introducing calyculin, a phosphatase inhibitor, reduced the cell proliferation and increased programmed cell death, or apoptosis, a process by which cells self-regulate, in the tonsils of OSA patients. "Together, these observations suggest that PSPH is a logical therapeutic target in reversing adenotonsillar enlargement in pediatric OSA," Dr. Gozal wrote.

"The next direction is to identify if selective clones of proliferating cells that may be affected by PSPH or by another of the discovered target genes with the intent of developing a non-surgical alternative treatment to surgery for OSA in children," said Dr. Gozal. "If there is a subgroup of cells that have specific markers, then we may be able to develop a therapy that could be specifically targeted to these cells."

"Phosphatases such as PSPH are an exciting prospective target for therapy in children with OSA," said Dr. Gozal. "We believe if we had effective non-surgical alternatives to tonsillectomies, it would be of great benefit."


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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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