Compounds That Target CARD9 Protein May Be Way to Treat Bowel Diseases, Study Reports

Compounds That Target CARD9 Protein May Be Way to Treat Bowel Diseases, Study Reports
Developing small-molecule compounds that can disrupt the normal functioning of the inflammation-promoting CARD9 protein could be a way to treat bowel diseases, a study reports. The protein helps the body fight fungal infections. In doing so, it generates inflammation that can lead to or worsen an inflammatory bowel disease, however. The research, "Small-molecule inhibitors directly target CARD9 and mimic its protective variant in inflammatory bowel disease,” was published in the journal PNAS. Scientists often conduct Genome-Wide Association Studies to see if there is a genetic component to a disease. Unfortunately, most of the time, they are unable to translate the information into therapies. A research team decided to try using the genetic information available on inflammatory bowel diseases, or IBDs, to develop a treatment for them. Gene sequencing studies have shown that mutations of the CARD9 gene, which generates a protein that is also called CARD9, can protect against an IBD. CARD9 protein plays a role in inflammation by activating the NF-κB–inflammatory pathway. The protective variant of the CARD9 gene, called CARD9Δ11, does not promote inflammation, however. The CARD9Δ11 mutation produces CARD9Δ11 protein. Previous research showed that CARD9 protein promotes inflammation by binding with another protein, TRIM62. The CARD9Δ11 protein is incapable of binding with TRIM62, preventing inflammation. These findings prompted researchers to hypothesize that small molecules that were able to interfere with the binding of CARD9 and TRIM62 could generate the protective effect that
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