Health Observance

World Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis Day

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
May 18, 2018

The International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis has orchestrated an annual campaign since 2012 to raise awareness of diseases that are autoimmune in nature and that cause joint inflammation and pain. That includes such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome, to name a few. World Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Arthritis Day is May 20 this year. The theme, with a nod to the “auto” prefix, is “Race to Fuel Awareness.” The ASBMB will observe WAAAD by sharing research and stories about the mechanisms of the diseases.

Investigating the role of AhR signaling in health and disease

In this short literature review, researchers cover what is known about how the aryl hydrocarbon receptor influences the immune response. The AhR integrates signals from food and the gut environment to modulate inflammation, making it a possible target for drugs to treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Read the minireview in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

How MHC molecules grab citrullinated peptides to foster rheumatoid arthritis

Upwards of 70 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients test positive for antibodies that target citrullinated peptides in joint synovial fluid. Production of these antibodies depends on binding between citrullinated peptides and a particular surface receptor of antigen-presenting cells. Ting et al examined binding affinity between diverse citrullinated peptides and variants of the receptor, yielding insights into the molecular mechanisms that could be targeted to reduce the autoinflammatory response. Read an introduction to the research.Read the paper itself.

Making a better immunoglobulin

For patients with autoimmune disorders that don’t respond to traditional treatments, intravenous IG is a therapy of last resort. IVIG, however, is expensive, as the IG is derived from thousands of donors.  A synthetic IG is needed. These researchers are working on it.

The heartbreak of psoriasis

Psoriasis isn’t just an unsightly skin problem. One-third of patients with the inflammatory disease develop arthritis. On top of that, it alters HDL (“good cholesterol”) and increases the risk of heart disease. Learn more.

Understanding how an enzyme can help or harm

Variation in the enzyme endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1, or ERAP1, is associated with ankylosing spondylitis and other diseases. Some ERAP1 variants increase the risk of autoimmune disease, while others are protective. A study in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics investigated how different ERAP1 variants affect antigen presentation. Here’s the paper.

Rituximab binding to target cells

The monoclonal antibody rituximab, sold as Rituxin or MabThera, is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers studied how carbohydrate modifications to antibody receptors can affect rituximab binding to its target cells.  They reported their findings in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. Here’s the paper. 

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the ASBMB Today staff.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Science

Science highlights or most popular articles

From the journals: JBC
Journal News

From the journals: JBC

January 24, 2020

Recent topics include misfolded tau proteins in Alzheimer’s disease, how enzymes trim peptides and how a parasite hijacks the immunity of its host.

Early immune response may improve cancer immunotherapies
Journal News

Early immune response may improve cancer immunotherapies

January 23, 2020

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers and colleagues report a new mechanism for detecting foreign material during early immune responses.

Do sperm offer the uterus a secret handshake?
Journal News

Do sperm offer the uterus
a secret handshake?

January 22, 2020

Why does it take 200 million sperm to fertilize a single egg? A female immune response is one reason. A molecular handshake may help sperm survive the bombardment.

A new hotspot for cyclooxygenase inhibition
Lipid News

A new hotspot
for cyclooxygenase inhibition

January 21, 2020

Drugs like aspirin dampen inflammation by inhibiting certain enzymes but can have nasty gastrointestinal side effects, so enzymologists are investigating the structure of the enzymes’ active sites in hopes of designing more selective inhibitors.

Your blood type may influence your vulnerability to the winter vomiting virus
News

Your blood type may influence
your vulnerability to the winter
vomiting virus

January 19, 2020

Norovirus is very infectious, but not everyone is equally vulnerable. Whether you get sick or not may depend on your blood type.

The proteome of the cave bear
Journal News

The proteome of the cave bear

January 18, 2020

If a peptide mass spectrum is like a jigsaw puzzle, then a genome is the picture that researchers use to piece things together. But what do you do when there’s no picture to use as a guide?