Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are often characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms frequently interfere with the patients' daily activities and increases the risk of mortality. These patients are also associated with a high risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Japanese researchers have demonstrated the role of a protein called tyrosine phosphatase (SAP)-1 in preventing these diseases. The findings of the study could accelerate the development of targeted drugs for inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases.
The researchers revealed that removal of SAP-1 in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease resulted in a marked increase in the incidence and severity of bowel inflammation, suggesting that SAP-1 plays a protective role against colitis.
One of the researchers Matozaki Takashi, professor at Kobe University in Japan, said, "Since the discovery of SAP-1 at Kobe University in 1994, we have clarified its major function thanks to the efforts of many joint researchers. Our future research interests are centered on the development of new therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease that take advantage of our understanding of SAP-1."