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Structure-Based Selection of Small Molecules to Alter Allele-Specific MHC Class II Antigen Presentation
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
The research team included Aaron W. Michels, David A. Ostrov, Li Zhang, Maki Nakayama, Masanori Fuse, Kristen McDaniel, Bart O. Roep, Peter A. Gottlieb, Mark A. Atkinson, and George S. Eisenbarth.
They are variously affiliated with the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Denver, the Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, in Gainesville, FL, and with the Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion at Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands.
In the NOD mouse model of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes, Human DQ8 and I-Ag7 imparts diabetes risk by modulating presentation of specific islet peptides in the thymus and surrounding area.
To define small molecules that could live in specific structural pockets along the I-Ag7 binding groove, the research team made use of an in-silico molecular docking program to review a vast “drug-like” chemical library.
By making use of both murine and human cells, the team's results show that small molecules can in fact influence specific TCR signals in the presence of cognate target peptides, based upon the targeted structural pocket.
The effect of a compound on TCR response varied among targeted pockets, with pocket 1 and 6 compounds inhibiting TCR response, and molecules targeted at pocket 9 promoting peptide responses.
It takes just nanomolar levels of the inhibitory molecules to block the insulin B chain peptide, which consists of amino acids 9–23, endogenous insulin, and islet-stimulated T cell responses.
At concentrations as low as 10 nM, Glyphosine, a pocket 9 compound, enhances insulin peptide presentation to T cells, upregulates IL-10 secretion, and prevents diabetes in NOD mice.
These studies offer a new way to identify small molecules that can both stimulate and inhibit T cell responses, thus offering a potential for future therapeutic treatment options.
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Can Better Biopsy Practices Improve Celiac Diagnosis in Children?
Researchers don't have any solid idea about how common cases of seronegative celiac disease might be, but many feel strongly that rates of seronegative celiac disease are underestimated in children, and may result in misdiagnosis of celiac cases.... [READ MORE]
Can Vitamin C Reduce Mucosal Immune Inflammatory Response to Gliadin in Celiac Disease Patients?
A clinical research team wanted to determine if adding ascorbate (vitamin C) to gliadin-stimulated biopsy culture could reduce the mucosal immune response to gliadin in people with celiac disease.... [READ MORE]
Gluten Can Cause GI Symptoms in People Who Don't Have Celiac
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Celiac.... [READ MORE]
Wheat Protein Show Growth-factor like Activity in the Gut
A study published in a recent
issue of the journal Gut suggests that wheat gliadin might trigger pathological
development in mucosal cells that are already abnormal, but otherwise
tolerated, within the intestinal tracts of individuals with celiac disease.... [READ MORE]