Researchers Identify Gene That Triggers Sepsis, Opens Door for New Treatment

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  October 26, 2015 at 4:28 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News
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Sepsis is a severe whole-body infection that occurs as a complication to an existing infection. If not treated quickly, it can lead to septic shock and multiple organ failure, with death rates as high as 50%. In a breakthrough discovery, scientists have now identified a gene that triggers the inflammatory condition. This finding could help opening the door for the development of new treatment of the lethal disease.
 Researchers Identify Gene That Triggers Sepsis, Opens Door for New Treatment
Researchers Identify Gene That Triggers Sepsis, Opens Door for New Treatment

Study co-author Chris Goodnow from the Australian National University (ANU) said, "This finding is a key that could potentially unlock our ability to shutdown this killer disease before it gets to a life-threatening stage."

Researchers knew that sepsis occurs when molecules known as lipopolysaccharides on the surface of some bacteria infiltrate cells, triggering an immune response that causes the cells to self-destruct. But exactly how this self-destruct button was pressed remained a mystery.

The research team found the protein Gasdermin-D plays a critical role in the pathway to sepsis. The investigators then screened thousands of genes with a large-scale forward genetics discovery platform and in a little over a year isolated the gene that produces Gasdermin-D.

Professor Simon Foote, director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) at ANU said, "Isolating the gene so quickly was a triumph for the team."

The study was published in Nature.

Source: IANS

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