In a recent study, researchers have developed an anti-inflammatory drug molecule with a new mechanism of action.
By inhibiting a certain protein, the researchers could reduce the signals that trigger an inflammation.
The research was conducted by a multidisciplinary team led by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
The new drug molecule inhibits inflammation by acting on a protein that we believe is a general mechanism for how inflammation arises in cells.
The discovery is the result of many years of research by Thomas Helleday’s group on how DNA is repaired by the body.
One of the objectives has been to fight cancer by targeting damage to the tumor cells’ DNA.
Several breakthroughs have already been reported, which have led, amongst other things, to a new treatment for congenital breast and ovarian cancer using so-called PARP inhibitors, which has been available for some years.
It was when developing a new molecule for inhibiting the enzyme that repairs oxygen damage to DNA that the researchers found, to their surprise, that it also dampened inflammation.
It turned out that the enzyme OGG1, apart from repairing DNA, also triggers inflammation.
The inhibitor blocks the release of inflammatory proteins, such as TNF alpha. In trials on mice with acute pulmonary disease, the researchers succeeded in dampening the inflammation.
The team suggests this discovery may give rise to a new treatment for a very serious condition.
They will now be developing our OGG1 inhibitor and examining whether it can lead to new treatments for inflammatory diseases in order to cure or relieve diseases such as sepsis, COPD and severe asthma.
The study is published in Science.
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