Navigation Links
Understanding Autoimmune Disease

Cambridge: Type 1 diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases, which are a result of the inadequacy of the immune system// to check itself.

Researchers are still unsure about the location of the molecular breakdowns, which are responsible for weakening the immune system. Now, a team of scientists from the Whitehead Institute and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered a crucial group of genes which form the heart of autoimmune disease.

"This may shorten the path to new therapies for autoimmune disease," says Whitehead Member and MIT professor of biology Richard Young, senior author on the paper that will appear January 21 online in Nature. "With this new list of genes, we can now look for possible therapies with far greater precision."

The immune system is often described as a kind of military unit, a defense network that guards the body from invaders. Seen in this way, a group of white blood cells called T cells are the frontline soldiers of immune defense, engaging invading pathogens head on.

These T cells are commanded by a second group of cells called regulatory T cells. Regulatory T cells prevent biological "friendly fire" by ensuring that the T cells do not attack the body's own tissues. Failure of the regulatory T cells to control the frontline fighters leads to autoimmune disease.

Scientists previously discovered that regulatory T cells are themselves controlled by a master gene regulator called Foxp3. Master gene regulators bind to specific genes and control their level of activity, which in turn affects the behavior of cells. In fact, when Foxp3 stops functioning, the body can no longer produce working regulatory T cells. When this happens, the frontline T cells damage multiple organs and cause symptoms of type 1 diabetes and Crohn's disease. However, until now, scientists have barely understood how Foxp3 controls regulatory T cells because they knew almost nothing a bout the actual genes under Foxp3's purview.

Researchers in Richard Young's Whitehead lab, working closely with immunologist Harald von Boehmer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, used a DNA microarray technology developed by Young to scan the entire genome of T cells and locate the genes controlled by Foxp3. There were roughly 30 genes found to be directly controlled by Foxp3 and one, called Ptpn22, showed a particularly strong affinity.

"This relation was striking because Ptpn22 is strongly associated with type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Graves' disease, but the gene had not been previously linked to regulatory T-cell function," says Alexander Marson, a MD/PhD student in the Young lab and lead author on the paper. "Discovering this correlation was a big moment for us. It verified that we were on the right track for identifying autoimmune related genes."

The researchers still don't know exactly how Foxp3 enables regulatory T cells to prevent autoimmunity. But the list of the genes that Foxp3 targets provides an initial map of the circuitry of these cells, which is important for understanding how they control a healthy immune response.

"Autoimmune diseases take a tremendous toll on human health, but on a strictly molecular level, autoimmunity is a black box," says Young. "When we discover the molecular mechanisms that drive these conditions, we can migrate from treating symptoms to developing treatments for the disease itself."



Source-Eurekalert
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Understanding The Predictors Of Prostate Cancer
2. Understanding Restless Legs Syndrome
3. Understanding Lung Cancer Metastasis
4. Understanding The Link Between Hormone Replacement and Respiratory Disease
5. Understanding The Risks Of Hormone Therapy
6. Understanding The Link Between Metabolic Syndrome And Drinking Patterns
7. A Better Understanding Of The Brain Network
8. Understanding The Predictor’s Of Alzheimer’s Diseae
9. Understanding The Harmful Effects Of Radiation Exposure
10. Understanding The Origin Of Tumors
11. Understanding Insulin Resistance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... It has just been announced ... speaker for five events throughout the month of May. , Uldrich is the author ... news outlets. He also frequently appears on the Science Channel’s FutureScape and Discovery Channel’s ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... ProElectric Cartoon is a package of 30 hand-drawn ... from a variety of electric styles including zap, sizzles, and more. Easily alter the ... blur, three dimensional rotation, and much more. ProElectric Cartoon’s simplistic style makes it the ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... As directed by its board ... (HAP) issues its full support to allow certified nurse practitioners (CNP) to practice to ... have worked under such supervision for three years and 3,600 hours. , In addition, ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... traditions of innovation by partnering with college students at University of Colorado in ... CU-Boulder senior level advertising campaigns class in the School of Journalism, who selected ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Eating Recovery Center’s Insight Behavioral Health Center (ERC Insight) , a ... eating disorder program under a new name: Eating Recovery Center, Chicago (ERC Chicago). ERC ... , To celebrate, ERC Chicago will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Treato , the ... announced today that it has been named a Cool ... in Life Sciences, 2016, Stephen Davies , ... focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and smart machine ... doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured information.   ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt ... of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today announced key new ... wealth of insight to a growing business.  This will bolster the ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice President ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... N.J. , April 28, 2016   Acsis ... today announced that leading IT market research and advisory ... " in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Pharmaceutical Track and ... 2016).  The report provides an assessment of the capabilities ... track and trace software market. Logo - ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: