Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 04 Mar 2014
The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients.

Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may slough off, and then become red, inflamed, and ulcerated. Ulcers may range from 0.5 centimeters to greater than four centimeters. Oral mucositis can be severely painful with the degree of pain usually related to the extent of the tissue damage. Due to pain, the patient may experience trouble speaking, eating, or even opening the mouth. Mucositis is often a major reason for premature suspension of anticancer therapy.

To study the molecular mechanisms responsible for mucositis investigators at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) genetically engineered a line of mice to lack the gene that encodes the enzyme E3 beta-TrCP (beta-transducin repeat containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase) in their gut epithelium. Deletion of beta-TrCP in the gut deregulated the cell cycle, induced a DNA damage response (DDR), and abolished the epithelium barrier function, resulting in a lethal mucosal inflammation that mimicked human mucositis.

Examination of these animals at the molecular level revealed that epithelial-derived IL-1beta, likely induced by DDR independently of NF-kappaB, was a major culprit, and initiated the pathology by compromising epithelial tight junctions. IL-1beta is a member of the interleukin 1 family of cytokines. This cytokine is produced by activated macrophages as a proprotein, which is proteolytically processed to its active form by caspase 1. This cytokine is an important mediator of the inflammatory response, and is involved in a variety of cellular activities, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. The induction of cyclooxygenase-2 by this cytokine in the central nervous system was found to contribute to inflammatory pain hypersensitivity.

The investigators reported in the January 27, 2013, online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) that antibody neutralization of IL-1beta prevented epithelial tight junction dysfunction and alleviated mucositis in beta-TrCP–deficient mice. They suggested that IL-1beta antagonists should be considered for prevention and treatment of mucositis.

Related Links:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem 




comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Diagram illustrates the innovative process that could lead to more effective drugs against influenza infection (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Researchers Show How the Influenza Virus Blocks Natural Killer Cell Recognition

A team of molecular virologists has described how the influenza virus evolved a defense mechanism to protect it from attack by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells. The recognition of pathogen-infected... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Synthetic ion transporters can induce apoptosis by facilitating chloride anion transport into cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin).

Experimental Drug Kills Cancer Cells by Interfering with Their Ion Transport Mechanism

An experimental anticancer drug induces cells to enter a molecular pathway leading to apoptosis by skewing their ion transport systems to greatly favor the influx of chloride anions. To promote development... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Genome-Wide Mutation-Searching Computational Software Designed for Genomic Medicine

Analysis software cross-references a patient’s symptoms with his genome sequence to help physicians in the diagnosis of disease. This software was created by a team of scientists from A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), led by Dr. Pauline Ng. The research findings were published August 3, 2014, in the journal... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.