Masterswitch discovered in immune system could revolutionise treatment of major diseases
A critical pathway identified within the body’s immune system could potentially lead to new treatments for some of the most devastating human diseases.
Professor Richard Jenner (UCL Cancer Institute) collaborated with study-lead Professor Graham Lord (University of Manchester) as part of a ten-year study looking at the regulatory networks within the immune system.
Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the study identifies for the first time the molecular pathway that is regulated by a tiny molecular masterswitch - known as microRNA-142.
microRNA-142 controls Regulatory T cells, which modulate the immune system and prevent autoimmune disease. It is, researchers found, the most highly expressed regulator of this type in the immune system.
The research represents a significant step forward in our understanding of how immune responses are regulated and how we may be able to harness the therapeutic power of the immune system to treat disease.
Researchers believe this could translate into treatments for diseases, including cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, within a few years.
- UCL news story
- Research paper, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation
- Professor Richard Jenner
- UCL Cancer Institute
- UCL Innovation & Enterprise
- Credit: Bruno Glätsch, Source: Pixabay