Protein therapy successful in treating injured lung cells

July 24, 2014

Cardiovascular researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have successfully used a protein known as MG53 to treat acute and chronic lung cell injury. Additionally, application of this protein proved to prevent lung cell injury. Results from this animal model study were just published in the journal Nature Communications.

Jianjie Ma, a professor and researcher in Ohio State's Department of Surgery and the Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, first identified MG53 in 2008. In earlier studies, his team showed that MG53 repairs and protects heart and skeletal muscle cells.

"This latest study demonstrates that MG53 is expressed in the lungs and may be used to repair many types of injuries," Ma said.

Control animals that lacked MG53 were more susceptible to injury caused by over-ventilation or re-oxygenation when the blood supply returns following a lack of oxygen. In animals treated with recombinant human MG53 (rhMG53), lung cells were protected from injury.

The treatment was given both intravenously and by inhalation. Both delivery methods of the protein therapy reduced symptoms of and chronic emphysema when compared with control animals. Repeated doses improved lung structure in the animals with chronic lung injury. Additionally, researchers noted significant reduction in edema, hypoxemia and inflammatory markers.

"We need to do further testing, but so far this therapy appears safe," Ma said. "The human body already makes small amounts of MG53 in blood circulation, so there is no concern for allergic response. Additionally, we treated rodent models with a dose 10 times higher than the effective dose with no adverse effects."

Acute can occur in critically ill patients where mechanical ventilation, reperfusion, sepsis, trauma and shock can all lead to lung damage. If the cells cannot repair themselves, it can develop into respiratory failure.

According to the American Lung Association, approximately 36 million Americans live with chronic lung disease, and could potentially benefit from a protein therapy that targets cell repair.

"If treatment with rhMG53 works in humans, the implications for patient care could be quite significant," Ma said. "It could prevent and repair heart and lung cell damage. It could be used prior to surgeries to prevent damage and promote healing. It could be used in an emergency department, by paramedics or on the battlefield to treat traumatic injuries. We are hopeful as we now work to begin our clinical trials."

According to Peter Mohler, director of Ohio State's Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, "This new work from Jianjie's team is an excellent example of the type of high-impact, translational science that can occur when creative scientists, surgeons, and cardiologists work closely together on a clinical problem. In this case, it is truly exciting how a discovery in foundational cell biology can potentially lead to new therapies for patients in the clinic."

Explore further: Discovery Links Proteins Necessary to Repair Membranes

More information: "Treatment of acute lung injury by targeting MG53-mediated cell membrane repair." Yanlin Jia,et al. Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4387 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5387. Received 25 February 2014 Accepted 13 June 2014 Published 18 July 2014

Related Stories

Discovery Links Proteins Necessary to Repair Membranes

June 11, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School are a step closer to treating, and perhaps preventing, muscle damage caused by disease and aging. In their study, published in the June issue of Journal ...

Stem cells from bone marrow save the day

May 13, 2011

New research, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, investigates the therapeutic use of human stem cells from bone marrow against acute lung injury and identifies TNF-α-induced ...

Researchers review muscular dystrophy therapies

June 22, 2012

Leading muscular dystrophy researcher Dean Burkin, of the University of Nevada School of Medicine summarizes the impact of a new protein therapeutic, MG53, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in an article published ...

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

Strict diet combats rare progeria aging disorders

August 25, 2016

Mice with a severe aging disease live three times longer if they eat thirty percent less. Moreover, they age much healthier than mice that eat as much as they want. These are findings of a joint study being published today ...

0 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.