Enzyme 'Lyn' linked to anaemia

Enzyme 'Lyn' linked to anaemia

New research by a team including experts from the UWA-affiliated Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) has proved a link between an enzyme known as "Lyn" and the blood disorder anaemia.

Anaemia is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells. It can have wide-ranging serious effects on patients.

New findings proving the link with the Lyn enzyme could be used in the future to fast-track treatments for patients who suffer specific types of anaemia.

Lead author Associate Professor Evan Ingley heads WAIMR's Cell Signalling group, which has an interest in understanding the signalling networks or "information highways" of cells - in this case the processes needed for to make mature red blood cells.

The research team - including Professor Wendy Erber, of UWA's School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Associate Professor Margaret Hibbs, of Monash University - explored the complicated biochemistry that occurs in the body when it's making red blood cells. The process involves a naturally occurring protein, EPO, which has gained notoriety as an in competitive sports such as cycling.

"EPO is an important growth factor, which is produced by the kidneys and is needed in the process of turning stem cells into a healthy number of mature red blood cells," Associate Professor Ingley said.

"In this study, we were particularly interested in an enzyme called Lyn, which is activated during this process and which is necessary for EPO to make red blood cells," he said.

The research explored the effects on red blood cells if too much of the Lyn enzyme was produced.

"The red blood cells with hyperactive Lyn looked very different to normal blood cells," Associate Professor Ingley said. "There were changes to the structure of the red resulting in lower numbers of than that needed for ."

He said drugs that turned off the Lyn were already available in the treatment of leukaemia. The study showed there was the potential for them to be used in other diseases in which severe anaemia was a problem.

"Maybe we could fast-track these particular drugs in clinical trials on patients where their anaemia is caused by too much Lyn activity," he said. "This paper has created an interesting model for such diseases."

The American Society of Hematology has published the paper, "Gain of function Lyn induces anaemia: appropriate Lyn activity is essential for normal erythropoiesis and Epo receptor signaling," in its latest edition of the journal, Blood.

Related Stories

WA discovery a key to blood cell development

Apr 28, 2009

A West Australian research team has made the world-first discovery a 'pied piper' molecule within blood cells, called Liar, that leads other molecules into the nucleus of the cell, and could offer a key in treating prostate, ...

New red blood cell simulator invented

Jun 27, 2013

Engineers from Queen Mary, University of London have developed the world's most precise computer simulation of how red blood cells might travel around the body to help doctors treat people with serious circulatory problems.

The RHAU helicase: A key player in blood formation

Jul 31, 2012

Scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have discovered that the helicase RHAU, a protein that can resolve complex structures in both DNA and RNA molecules, is essential for ...

First successful total synthesis of Erythropoietin

Oct 15, 2012

(Phys.org)—"Blood is quite a peculiar kind of juice"—that is what Mephisto knew, according to Goethe's "Faust". But if blood really is very special, then erythropoietin (EPO) must be a very special molecule, ...

Recommended for you

Strategy proposed for preventing diseases of aging

15 hours ago

Medicine focuses almost entirely on fighting chronic diseases in a piecemeal fashion as symptoms develop. Instead, more efforts should be directed to promoting interventions that have the potential to prevent ...

User comments