Protein may be key to psoriasis and wound care

June 21, 2012

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which skin cells proliferate out of control. For some hard-to-heal wounds, the problem is just the opposite: Restorative skin cells don't grow well or fast enough. In a paper published in the June 21, 2012 issue of Immunity, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine describe a molecule that may lead to new treatments for both problems.

An international team of scientists led by principal investigator Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and chief of UC San Diego's Division of Dermatology, analyzed skin biopsies of patients with and without psoriasis, as well as the skin of mice with psoriasis and with wounds on their backs. They discovered that a molecule called regenerating islet-derived protein 3-alpha (REG3A) is highly expressed in skin cells during psoriasis and wound-healing, but not under normal skin conditions.

In tests on mice, researchers found that inhibiting REG3A slowed wound-healing but cleared up psoriasis, which is commonly characterized by patches of inflammation and white, scaly skin.

The scientists also noted that REG3A acts in concert with interleukin-17 (IL-17), an immune system protein involved in the signaling cascade which prompts skin cells to multiply in excess numbers. "IL-17 binds to receptors on skin cells and causes REG3A to be expressed, which then binds to another protein inside the cells that promotes cell growth," said first author Yuping Lai, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunity at East China Normal University in Shanghai.

Gallo said the discovery of REG3A's dual roles provides a new target for different therapies.

"A drug that inhibits the expression of REG3A could represent a more targeted way to treat psoriasis without the systemic immunosuppression problems of current treatments. Conversely, a drug that stimulates or mimics REG3A could boost cell growth and improve wound healing."
-end-
Co-authors are Dongqing Li, Changwei Li, Ziwei Jiang, Zhiheng Li, Hu Lei, Yanchun Quan and Tian Zhang, all at the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences and School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University; Beda Muhleisen, Paul Kotol and Tissa R. Hata, Division of Dermatology, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, UC San Diego; Katherine A. Radek, Department of Surgery, Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Loyola University, Chicago; Hyun Jeong Park, Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul; Shin Morizane and Keiji Iwatsuki, Department of Dermatology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Japan; Ge Tang, Center for Experimental Medicine and Systems Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo.

Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institutes of Health (grants AR052728, AI052453, AI083358), the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality.

University of California - San Diego

Related Psoriasis Articles from Brightsurf:

Most psoriasis patients taking immunosuppressants survive COVID-19
Patients with psoriasis who are taking drugs that affect their immune system have high rates of survival from COVID-19.

Getting under the skin of psoriasis
Psoriasis afflicts millions of people worldwide, but treatments are limited to small molecules like steroids, which can cause skin thinning and lose their effectiveness over time.

Psoriasis patients' mental health is more than skin-deep
A new study from Umeå University, Sweden, shows that other somatic diseases have even more impact on patients' mental health than their skin symptoms, highlighting the importance of holistic patient care.

Psoriasis: Towards a novel therapeutic approach
Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Department of Dermatology of the Erasme hospital uncover the importance of VEGFA signaling in the epidermis to mediate psoriasis development.

Insights into psoriasis suggest a new treatment target
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have uncovered a novel pathway that may explain why skin thickens in psoriasis and suggests new strategies for developing therapies for the condition.

Psoriasis onset determines if psoriatic arthritis patients develop arthritis or psoriasis first
In a new study presented at the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting, researchers found the age of psoriasis onset determines whether arthritis or psoriasis starts first in people with psoriatic arthritis.

Study: Some biologic treatments for psoriasis may be safer for patients
In the largest study of its kind, Erica D. Dommasch, M.D., M.P.H., a dermatologist in the Department of Dermatology at BIDMC, and colleagues found a decreased risk of infection in patients with psoriasis using some of the newer, more targeted medications compared to those taking methotrexate, a drug widely used since the 1960s as a first line treatment for moderate-to-severe psoriasis.

Higher weight increases risk of psoriasis
The higher a person's BMI, the greater the chance of getting psoriasis.

Lipid that aids normal skin turnover may help psoriasis
Topical application of the lipid phosphatidylglycerol, or PG, on a mouse model of psoriasis reduced inflammation as well as characteristic, raised skin lesions, they report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

New insight into the mechanism of the drug against sclerosis and psoriasis
A multidisciplinary research team at Aarhus University has provided fundamental new insight into the mechanism of the medical drug dimethyl fumarate, which is the active component of important treatments for multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.

Read More: Psoriasis News and Psoriasis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.