Study Sheds Light on Crohn's Disease Pathogenesis

Researchers discover link between two inflammatory signaling pathways

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found a link between two inflammatory signaling pathways in Crohn's disease that could influence the pathogenesis of the disease, according to a study published online July 9 in Current Biology.

MingFang Tao, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues investigated proteins that could modify a key binding and signaling partner of NOD2, the Crohn's disease susceptibility protein that is key for generating an appropriate immune response to bacterial infection.

The researchers identified ITCH, a protein previously implicated in controlling mucosal inflammation. ITCH modified the NOD2 partner in response to bacterial infection and activated one signaling pathway while inhibiting another, according to the study.

"These findings suggest that ITCH helps regulate NOD2-dependent signal transduction pathways and as such, may be involved in the pathogenesis of NOD2-mediated inflammatory disease," Tao and colleagues conclude.

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