Weill Cornell Medical College investigators discovered that proteins that help cells survive stressful conditions can also lead to potential treatment for chronic lung disorder, asthma.
A signaling pathway, formed by the two proteins also plays a critical role in eosinophil development. When the investigators altered the function of either of those proteins, the eosinophils, but not other cell types, underwent excess stress and were completely wiped out, suggesting that this pathway could serve as a new therapeutic target for patients who respond poorly to current asthma therapies.
Lead author Dr. Sarah E. Bettigole, said that their findings demonstrate that individual cell types, particularly eosinophils, interpret and manage stress in distinct ways. If they disrupt the ability to respond to stress, sensitive cells like eosinophils die off.
These subtle differences could be leveraged to develop novel therapies for diseases like asthma and eosinophilic leukemia. The study is published in Nature Immunology