Scientists have discovered what drives inflammation in IBD
IBD can reduce quality of life, so finding new treatments for it is vital.
Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys (SBP) Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have identified a role for a protein called RNF5, which is abundant in cells that line the gut.
- What they found is that the protein RNF5 controls the activity of S100A8, a protein already known to be a promoter of inflammation.
- The scientists found that RNF5 keeps S100A8 stable in cells of the gut lining, and that its absence unleashes the pro-inflammatory power of S100A8.
- IBD can cause symptoms that, in turn, cause discomfort, pain, and distress. These include: diarrhoea, constipation, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramp, and a sudden and urgent need to go to the bathroom.
- According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 3 million adults in the United States report having received a diagnosis of IBD showing how much of a pressing issue this is.
- Treatments currently do not work in all cases, and they can also become less effective over time.
“Our findings,” says Prof. Ronai, “indicate that RNF5 is the lock that keeps a key inflammatory protein under control.”
Breaking the lock is like opening “Pandora’s box,“ he adds, and the result is that “S100A8 is released to cause inflammation.“
Although it is already known that inflammatory proteins are involved in IBD, the underlying driving mechanism has remained a mystery until now. Recent findings will now allow for more targeted treatments which will hopefully aid in diagnosis as well as managing peoples pain and ultimately aiding in the process to find a long term cure.