ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

10 Fibro-Friendly Foods with a Bonus: Beautiful Skin

Fight Back! Win the War Being Waged Against Your Immune System

Studies Show that Magnesium L-threonate Improves Brain Plasticity, Leading to Direct and Significant...

Clary Sage Oil May Be Pricey, but Its Benefits Are Priceless

Component of red wine, grapes can help to reduce inflammation, study finds

Poly MVA: A Novel Therapy for Increasing Energy, Repairing DNA, and Promoting Overall Health

Pumpkin Pie Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie - Vegan + Gluten-Free

Vitamin D supplementation extends life in mouse model of Huntington's disease

What’s Fenugreek Good For?

Omega-3 fatty acid stops known trigger of lupus

Print Page
Email Article

"Flap" on Protein Suggests New Therapies for Autoimmune Disorders

  [ 19 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • February 7, 2002

Researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center who are studying a protein implicated in the development of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis have discovered a unique "flap" that is crucial to the protein's function. When they created a flap-free version of the molecule, it engaged receptors but triggered no biological activity. The findings, reported in the February 8 issue of Cell, provide insight into an important immune-system protein and suggest that the flap-free version may one day serve as a treatment for various autoimmune diseases.

The molecule, known variously as Tall-1, BlyS, BAFF, THANK and zTNF4, has generated intense interest in the biomedical community because of its role in both autoimmunity and the normal immune response.

"Our studies have revealed the structural element crucial to Tall-1's ability to trigger maturation of B cells and antibody production," said Gongyi Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Immunology at National Jewish. "By removing Tall-1's unique flap, we have created a molecule that could have important therapeutic applications in lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases."

Tall-1 is an important regulator of the immune system. It spurs B cells to mature and produce antibodies, one of the body's major defense mechanisms. Mice engineered to make too much Tall-1 develop lupus-like symptoms. People with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to have high levels of Tall-1 in their blood. Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Approximately 1.4 million people in the United States, mostly women, suffer from lupus. Rheumatoid arthritis afflicts approximately 2.1 million people in the U.S.

Hong-Bing Shu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Immunology at National Jewish, originally identified Tall-1 in 1999 and soon thereafter one its receptors, BCMA. He collaborated with Dr. Zhang to determine the protein's unique shape.

Tall-1 has a flap, a loop of eight amino acids not found in related proteins in the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family. While other TNF family members cluster into units of three molecules, Tall-1 clusters into a much larger, 60-molecule ball, which appears crucial to the protein's biological activity.

Dr. Zhang's analysis indicated that the flap is responsible for this unique clustering. When the researchers created a modified version of Tall-1 lacking the flap, it failed to assemble into the 60-molecule ball. It also failed to stimulate B cells, even though the modified Tall-1 did bind to one of its target receptors, BCMA.

"The flap region is essential for the proper function of Tall-1 in cell cultures," said Dr. Shu. "We believe this region is a good target for development of small molecule drugs against lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other disorders involving the immune system and B cells. We are also investigating whether the flap-less Tall-1 mutant can be used to compete with the normal Tall-1 in vivo and inhibit its activity."

National Jewish has applied for various patents on the potential uses of Tall-1, its modified version, and its receptor, BCMA.

Several groups, including Dr. Shu's, identified Tall-1 at about the same time in 1999, which is why the molecule has so many names. Several companies, including Human Genome Sciences, Amgen, Biogen and Zymogenetics, are researching Tall-1 and related molecules as potential pharmaceuticals. Human Genome Sciences is currently conducting clinical trials of Tall-1, which it calls BlyS, and an antibody to Tall-1.

Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra ATP+, Double Strength

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products

Article Comments

Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment

Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor®
Reduce Fatigue up to 45%
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength

Natural Remedies

When a Negative is Positive - Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear When a Negative is Positive - Goodnighties Recovery Sleepwear
Are You Obtaining the Proper Enzymes? Are You Obtaining the Proper Enzymes?
Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms? Could a B-12 Deficiency Be Causing Your Symptoms?
Three-Step Strategy to Reverse Mitochondrial Aging Three-Step Strategy to Reverse Mitochondrial Aging
Can Glycine + Amino Acids Be the Secret to Deep, Rejuvenating Sleep? Can Glycine + Amino Acids Be the Secret to Deep, Rejuvenating Sleep?

ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
Credit Card Processing
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map