Dr. Giriraj Ratan Chandak and his colleagues suggest that mutations in Lithostathine (encoded by reg1 gene) may not be a cause of stone formation in TCP tropical calcific pancreatitis in patients.
Lithostathine has been isolated as a major protein component from stones of alcoholic chronic pancreatitis patients, and found to be two to three times less abundant in the pancreatic juice of chronic pancreatitis patients than in controls.
Although scientists have so far remained unclear as to the exact function of the protein, they have always suggested that it may regulate the process of stone formation.
With this information at hand, the researchers set out to investigate whether this gene plays any role in chronic pancreatitis, especially tropical calcific pancreatitis (TCP), where the stones are large in size, highly irregular in shape and cause enormous tissue destruction.
Their observations suggest that mutations in Lithostathine may not be a cause of stone formation in TCP tropical calcific pancreatitis in patients.
The researchers say that their findings open up scope for further research on alternative mechanisms, such as calcium signalling and regulation, in stone formation in chronic pancreatitis.