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: Gatekeeper signal controls skin inflammation

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

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 ...

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

May 12, 2011
Vitamin D helps to reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis, a common skin condition that causes red, itchy patches on the skin, shows a new study.

Under the right conditions, peptide blocks HIV infection at multiple points along the way

July 24, 2012
Human defensins, aptly named antimicrobial peptides, are made in immune system cells and epithelial cells (such as skin cells and cells that line the gut). One of these peptides, human neutrophil peptide 1, under certain ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Does your child really have a food allergy?

July 24, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many people misunderstand what food allergies are, and even doctors can be confused about how to best diagnose them, suggests a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Study suggests same gut bacteria can trigger different immune responses depending on environment

July 24, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that one type of gut bacteria triggers different kinds of immune responses depending on the state of the environment they ...

Genetic immune deficiency could hold key to severe childhood infections

July 18, 2017
A gene mutation making young children extremely vulnerable to common viruses may represent a new type of immunodeficiency, according to a University of Queensland researcher.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?

July 18, 2017
What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma in adults? This can be tricky because asthma can stem from several causes and treatment often depends on what is triggering the asthma.

Large multi-ethnic study identifies many new genetic markers for lupus

July 17, 2017
Scientists from an international consortium have identified a large number of new genetic markers that predispose individuals to lupus.

Study finds molecular explanation for struggles of obese asthmatics

July 17, 2017
A large, bouquet-shaped molecule called surfactant protein A, or SP-A, may explain why obese asthma patients have harder-to-treat symptoms than their lean and overweight counterparts, according to a new study led by scientists ...

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.