Scientists discover key enzyme responsible for skin blistering in the elderly
Research identifies a novel treatment for the most common autoimmune blistering diseases
(Press-News.org) The Granzyme B (GzmB) enzyme, which accumulates in certain tissues as we age, has been identified as a driver of itchy and sometimes life-threatening autoimmune conditions known as pemphigoid diseases (PDs), which cause blistering and skin erosion below the skin's surface.
New research led by University of British Columbia (UBC) and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) scientists has found that a gel containing a specific and potent inhibitor of GzmB activity, VTI-1002, resulted in significant improvements on skin affected by PDs.
"Blisters caused by these conditions can be extremely discomforting, unsightly and potentially fatal," says the study's senior author Dr. David Granville, a professor in UBC's department of pathology and laboratory medicine and executive director of VCHRI. "Given that there is currently no cure for pemphigoid diseases, the need for better treatments to care for affected individuals will continue to grow in the coming years as our population ages."
Published this week in Nature Communications, the study found that inhibiting GzmB reduced blistering by approximately 50 per cent in three different models.
Research results also showed that the GzmB-inhibiting gel protected the structural integrity of the skin and reduced inflammation.
"While several studies have investigated how to target and block other enzymes that may lead to PDs, our Granzyme B-blocking VTI-1002 gel reduced both the inflammation and disruption of the skin layers that contribute to blistering," says Dr. Granville.
One reason blocking GzmB is effective is because, unlike other enzymes that can break down proteins in the body, there are no inhibitors to prevent GzmB activity outside of cells, Dr. Granville explains. When GzmB accumulates over time due to chronic inflammation, the body lacks a natural defense mechanism to rein it in.
"Our study results show great promise for GzmB inhibition," says Dr. Granville. "A GzmB-blocking gel could be used as a safer, more targeted alternative for treating autoimmune blistering and other inflammatory skin diseases."
GzmB is naturally produced by immune cells in the body and plays a role in helping to eliminate unwanted cells. However, in certain conditions, GzmB escapes from these cells into the extracellular space where it accumulates and eats away at structural proteins that hold the skin together. In the case of PDs, GzmB accumulates in the blister fluid and surrounding tissues, cleaving key proteins that anchor the top layer of skin (epidermis) to the bottom layer (dermis), which leads to skin separation and blistering.
The current treatment for PDs is topical or oral corticosteroids. Often associated with severe side effects and occasionally mortality, they also contribute to skin thinning and impaired healing, both of which are already problematic among elderly individuals. Treatments are therefore needed that do not exacerbate these conditions.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
A proton exchange membrane fuel cell is a chemical cell that converts energy released when a substance reacts into electrical energy with zero emission. It is an excellent substitute for fossil fuel.
However, low activity and stability of the Pt-based catalysts in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) of the battery cathode restricted the output power and the number of charge and discharge cycles, thus increasing the cost of the whole fuel cells. The preparation of cathode catalysts with high activity and stability is a difficult problem.
In a study ...
Durham, NC - A new study reported in STEM CELLS reveals a unique population of skeletal stem cells (SSCs) that function during the transitional period between rapid bone growth and bone maintenance. This discovery provides an opportunity to determine whether alterations in the SSCs' pattern might affect bone formation, as well as helps us understand the physiological factors that regulate its timing.
"This is particularly important given that anything that interferes with the proper development of bone mass during childhood and adolescence has long-lasting effects on our health, including the development of osteoporosis ...
BINGHAMTON, NY -- A new leader takes office and foreign rivals begin to test the waters. How tough is this new leader? Are they willing to risk war, or just full of bluster?
This testing can escalate crises, increasing the risk of war as international adversaries gauge the new leader's willingness to use force. A new paper co-written by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York shows that when this "turnover trap" occurs depends a good deal on the politics back home, and the nature of the leader's transition into office.
Binghamton University Associate Professor of Political Science Amanda Licht was among ...
AURORA, Colo. (Jan. 13, 2021) - Mucus in the lungs can be fatal for asthma patients, but scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have broken up those secretions at the molecular level and reversed their often deadly impacts.
In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers explained how they created an inhaled treatment that disrupted the production of excess mucus by reducing disulfide bonds in mice and opening up their airways. The same treatment had similar impacts on human mucus samples.
"Currently about 10% of the population has asthma," said the study's lead author Christopher Evans, PhD, professor of Pulmonary Sciences & Critical ...
A common bacterial species naturally infecting mosquitoes may actually be protecting them against specific mosquito pesticides, a study has found.
Wolbachia - a bacterium that occurs naturally and spreads between insects - has become more frequently used in recent years as a means of controlling mosquito populations.
Scientists at the University of Reading, and the INBIOTEC-CONICET and the National University of San Juan in Argentina, studied the effect of Wolbachia on a common mosquito species and found those carrying the bacteria were less susceptible to widely used pesticides.
Dr Alejandra Perotti, an Associate Professor in invertebrate biology at the University of Reading, and a co-author of the study, said: "This shows the importance of looking more ...
Without immediate and drastic intervention, humans face a "ghastly future" -- including declining health, climate devastation, tens of millions of environmental migrants and more pandemics -- in the next several decades, according to an international team of 17 prominent scientists. ...
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed efficient blue light-emitting diodes based on halide perovskites. "We are very excited about this breakthrough", says Feng Gao, professor at Linköping University. The new LEDs may open the way to cheap and energy-efficient illumination.
Illumination is responsible for approximately 20% of global electricity consumption, a figure that could be reduced to 5% if all light sources consisted of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The blue-white LEDs currently in use, however, need complicated manufacturing methods and are expensive, which makes it more difficult to achieve ...
Atomic nuclei are held together by the strong interaction between neutrons and protons. About ten percent of all known nuclei are stable. Starting from these stable isotopes, nuclei become increasingly unstable as neutrons are added or removed, until neutrons can no longer bind to the nucleus and "drip" out. This limit of existence, the so-called neutron "dripline", has so far been discovered experimentally only for light elements up to neon. Understanding the neutron dripline and the structure of neutron-rich nuclei also plays a key role in the research program for the future accelerator facility FAIR at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt.
In a new study, "Ab Initio Limits of Nuclei," ...
The levels of small molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) circulating in blood could help identify early on children with life-threatening forms of malaria, according to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, an institution supported by "la Caixa" Foundation, in collaboration with the Manhiça Health Research Center (CISM) in Mozambique. The results, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, could also help better understand the mechanisms underlying severe malaria.
Malaria mortality among young African children remains unacceptably high. To improve the outcome, it is important to rapidly identify and treat children with severe forms of the disease. ...
Associate professor Masaya Tamura, Kousuke Murai (who has completed the first term of his master's program), and their research team from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering at Toyohashi University of Technology have successfully transferred power and data wirelessly through seawater by using a power transmitter/receiver with four layers of ultra-thin, flat electrodes. In the field of wireless power transfers, seawater behaves as a dielectric with extremely high loss, and achievement through capacitive coupling is difficult. Up until now, it had been thought that wireless power transfers could only be achieved through magnetic coupling. ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] Scientists discover key enzyme responsible for skin blistering in the elderly
Research identifies a novel treatment for the most common autoimmune blistering diseases