UNC team describes novel inflammatory protein function

A UNC-led team of scientists describes the function of a previously uncharacterized protein that dramatically influences inflammation.

A majority of the NLR family of proteins function as activators of . However, scientists at UNC report that a newly identified NLR protein, NLRC3, was able to inhibit a major inflammatory pathway that is controlled by a protein called NF-Kappa B. NF-Kappa B activation has been long associated with inflammation and cancer promotion. Their article appears in the August 5,2012 online publication of the journal .

The UNC team previously reported that another NLR family member, NLRP12, was also able to inhibit NF-Kappa B activation. However, in their new study, the team reported that NLRC3 inhibits this major inflammatory through a completely different mechanism. The researchers show that NLRC3 directly interacts with the molecule TRAF6 and forms a novel, previously uncharacterized protein complex described as a 'TRAFasome'. TRAF6 is a key regulator of NF-kappaB and is a critical step in the regulation of inflammation.

In pre-clinical models, the team was able to show that NLRC3 and the formation of the TRAFasome was important in regulating the during endotoxic shock, a serious hyperinflammatory process typically associated with severe infection.

Monika, Scheneider, first author of the paper and a postdoctoral research associate at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains, "Our research reveals greater insight into the mechanisms controlling inflammation and identifies potential therapeutic targets."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Personalizing targeted immunotherapy

date Apr 30, 2015

This year may indeed be the year in which a class of immunotherapeutics called PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors are approved for a variety of cancers, as forecast recently by Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, in a blog post. There is huge excitement surrounding these drugs because patients with nume ...

Inflammatory immune cells can flip the genetic script

date Apr 30, 2015

A type of immune cell that promotes inflammation during the immune response, TH17, can convert into another type of cell that reduces inflammation, Yale researchers have found. The finding, published April ...

Cytokine may play a major role in multiple sclerosis

date Apr 29, 2015

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by immune cells that activate a cascade of chemicals in the brain, attacking and degrading the insulation that keeps neuronal signals moving. These chemicals, called cytokines, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.