Small peptide ameliorates autoimmune skin blistering disease in mice

January 9, 2013

Pemphigus vulgaris is a life-threatening autoimmune skin disease that is occurs when the body's immune system generates antibodies that target proteins in the skin known as desomogleins. Desmogleins help to form the adhesive bonds that hold skin cells together and keep the skin intact. Currently, pemphigus vulgaris is treated by long-term immune suppression; however, this can leave the patient susceptible to infection.

In this issue of the , researchers led by Jens Waschke at the Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology in Munich, Germany, report on a small peptide that blocked antibody recognition of desmogleins. Importantly, the peptide could prevent antibody-mediated skin blistering when applied topically to mice. At the cellular level, the peptide improved cell-cell adhesion and attenuated signaling pathways that are activated by antibody binding.

These results suggest that this peptide could serve as a treatment option for pemphigus vulgaris.

Explore further: Relief from red, itchy skin: Unraveling the secrets of vitamin D

More information: Peptide-mediated desmoglein 3 crosslinking prevents pemphigus vulgaris autoantibody-induced skin blistering, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013. doi:10.1172/JCI60139

Related Stories

Skin sentry cells promote distinct immune responses

July 21, 2011

A new study reveals that just as different soldiers in the field have different jobs, subsets of a type of immune cell that polices the barriers of the body can promote unique and opposite immune responses against the same ...

Researchers design Alzheimer's antibodies

December 9, 2011

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to design antibodies aimed at combating disease. The surprisingly simple process was used to make antibodies that neutralize the harmful protein ...

Gatekeeper signal controls skin inflammation

January 26, 2012

A new study unravels key signals that regulate protective and sometimes pathological inflammation of the skin. The research, published online on January 26th in the journal Immunity by Cell Press, identifies a "gatekeeper" ...

(Antibody) orientation matters

December 10, 2012

The orientation of antibody binding to bacteria can mean life or death to the bug, according to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine on December 10th. These findings may help explain why these bacteria ...

Recommended for you

Snapshot turns T cell immunology on its head

October 6, 2015

Challenging a universally accepted, longstanding consensus in the field of immunity requires hard evidence. New research from the Australian Research Council Centre of excellence in advanced Molecular imaging has shown the ...

Four gut bacteria decrease asthma risk in infants

September 30, 2015

New research by scientists at UBC and BC Children's Hospital finds that infants can be protected from getting asthma if they acquire four types of gut bacteria by three months of age. More than 300 families from across Canada ...

Flu infection reveals many paths to immune response

September 28, 2015

A new study of influenza infection in an animal model broadens understanding of how the immune system responds to flu virus, showing that the process is more dynamic than usually described, engaging a broader array of biological ...

Immune cells may help fight against obesity

September 15, 2015

While a healthy lifestyle and "good genes" are known to help prevent obesity, new research published on September 15 in Immunity indicates that certain aspects of the immune system may also play an important role. In the ...


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.