Japanese researchers identify a protein linked to the exacerbation of COPD

March 21, 2013

Researchers from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute and Nippon Medical School in Japan have identified a protein likely to be involved in the exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This protein, Siglec-14, could serve as a potential new target for the treatment of COPD exacerbation.

In a study published today in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences the researchers show that COPD patients who do not express Siglec-14, a glycan-recognition , are less susceptible to exacerbation compared with those who do.

COPD is a chronic condition in which the airways and in the lungs become damaged, making it increasingly difficult for air to pass in and out. It is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide and its prevalence is on the rise. Exacerbation, or a sudden worsening of the COPD symptoms often triggered by bacterial or viral infection, directly leads to the decline of the quality of life, and even to the death, of the patient.

Based on the facts that Siglec-14, which is made by innate , binds to the bacteria that often trigger exacerbation, and that approximately 1 out of 4 people in Japan cannot make Siglec-14 because of genetic polymorphism, the research team led by Drs. Takashi Angata and Naoyuki Taniguchi (RIKEN Advanced Science Institute) and Drs. Takeo Ishii and Kozui Kida (Respiratory Care Clinic, Nippon Medical School) hypothesized that the presence of Siglec-14 may influence the frequency of exacerbation episodes in COPD patients.

The team analyzed the correlation between the genotype of SIGLEC14 gene and the frequency of COPD during 1 year of monitoring in 135 COPD patients, and found that those patients who do not have Siglec-14 (31 patients) suffer far fewer episodes of exacerbations (nearly 80% less) on average compared with those who do (104 patients).

These findings by the team suggest that COPD may be stratified based on the SIGLEC14 genotype for more efficient and personalized care. They also imply that Siglec-14 protein is involved in the exacerbation of COPD, and that a compound that blocks the inflammatory events triggered by Siglec-14 engagement could be used to prevent or treat the exacerbation of COPD.

Explore further: Assessment of COPD exacerbation severity with the COPD Assessment Test

More information: Takashi Angata, Takeo Ishii, Takashi Motegi, Ritsuko Oka, Rachel E. Taylor, Paula Campos Soto, Yung-Chi Chang, Ismael Secundino, Cong-Xiao Gao, Kazuaki Ohtsubo, Shinobu Kitazume, Victor Nizet, Ajit Varki, Akihiko Gemma, Kozui Kida, and Naoyuki Taniguchi. "Loss of Siglec-14 reduces the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation". Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2013, doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1311-7

Related Stories

Assessment of COPD exacerbation severity with the COPD Assessment Test

January 27, 2012
Exacerbation severity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be reliably assessed with the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), according to a new study from the UK.

'Walking distance' test an accurate indicator of disease severity in patients with COPD

May 16, 2011
The six-minute walking distance test (6MWD), a test that measures a patient's ability to tolerate exercise and physical activity, is an effective tool for understanding disease severity in patients with chronic obstructive ...

Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors have only marginal benefits for people with COPD

May 11, 2011
Giving patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) newly available oral phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, roflumilast or cilomilast, improves lung function and reduces the likelihood of a flareup, but ...

Computed tomography shows changes in lungs associated with COPD flare-ups

July 27, 2011
Using computed tomography (CT), researchers have identified two types of structural changes in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that are associated with frequent exacerbations, or episodes ...

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

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.