Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients are prone to recurrent and potentially life threatening bouts of infection due to the inability of phagocytic cells to kill invading microorganisms.
Normal phagocytes release reactive oxygen compounds in response to infection, but this defense is lacking in phagocytes of people with CGD. In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation
, Griffin Rodgers and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health identify a neutrophil granule protein, OLFM4 as a potential therapeutic target for CGD patients.
In a mouse model of CGD, deletion of Olfm4
protected the mice from infection with Staphylococcus aureus
. The protective effect of Olmf4
deletion in CGD mice extended to multiple strains of S. aureus, including a community-associated strain of MRSA. This study suggests that targeting OLMF4 in CGD patients may enhance their ability to fight off bacterial infection.