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Single Enzyme Provides Target For New Sepsis Drugs

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine recently found that removing the enzyme PHLPP1 improved outcomes in a mouse model of sepsis.

Sepsis occurs when the body goes overboard in its attempt to fight off an infection. Immune cells rush in, overreact and wreak havoc on tissues and organs, often resulting in organ failure and death.

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine recently found that removing the enzyme PHLPP1 improved outcomes in a mouse model of sepsis. PHLPP1 controls many cell behaviors by removing phosphates (small chemical tags) from other proteins. And, it now turns out, PHLPP1 also influences inflammation.

The study, published August 13, 2019 in eLife , introduces the possibility that inhibiting PHLPP1 could form the basis for new sepsis treatments in humans.

“Most research on inflammation has typically focused on kinases, enzymes that add phosphate tags to other proteins,” said senior author Alexandra Newton, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “It’s exciting to have a completely new target for sepsis — the enzymes that remove them.”

Newton’s team discovered PHLPP1 a few years ago and have since detailed its role in suppressing tumors. Following up on these findings, Newton reached out to UC San Diego School of Medicine colleague Chris Glass, PhD, an expert on inflammation.

Together, their teams uncovered many immune cell genes that are influenced by PHLPP1. But PHLPP1’s particular influence on inflammation could be linked to the fact that it removes phosphates from a transcription factor called STAT1, which is known for controlling inflammatory genes.

Newton’s team took mice modified to lack the PHLPP1 gene to another UC San Diego School of Medicine colleague, Victor Nizet, MD, an expert on bacterial infections. In separate experiments, Nizet’s team administered live E. coli bacteria and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a component of the bacterium’s cell wall that drives immune systems wild, to both PHLPP1-deficient and normal mice.

The difference surprised Newton: Mice without PHLPP1 fared much better. While all normal mice died of the infection-induced sepsis after five days, half of the PHLPP1-deficient mice survived.

UCSanDiegoHealth
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The importance of understanding patient risk for Sepsis and effective treatment for the infection are more important than ever before. 

Pedagogy author, Carol Knauff, recently released a 1 hour CNE course dedicated to raising Sepsis awareness. 

To learn more about the course, or purchase the course for yourself, Click Here

To order the course for your facillty, please contact sales@pedagogy-inc.com

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