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Recent Discovery Paves Way for Curing Auto-immune Diseases

by Sheela Philomena on March 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM
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 Recent Discovery Paves Way for Curing Auto-immune Diseases

A revolutionary breakthrough paves way to cure debilitating auto-immune diseases such as Sjogren's Syndrome and lupus.

These auto-immune diseases are caused by the body mistakenly targeting healthy tissue as unhealthy ones, producing antibodies that attack the body's own organs.

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Doctoral student Rhianna Lindop from Flinders University has developed a technique with Flinder's proteomics (study of proteins) experts Georgia Arentz and Tim Chataway to analyse a type of antibody that contributes to the progression of lupus and Sjogren's syndrome.

Systemic lupus erythematosus, often abbreviated to SLE or lupus, is a systemic auto-immune disease that can affect any part of the body. In Sjogren's syndrome, immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva.
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"We all have proteins in our body but in people with auto-immune diseases the body recognises these 'self' proteins to be foreign and responds to them by producing antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissues and organs," Lindop said, according to a Flinders statement.

Using a mass spectrometry machine, the researchers have - for the first time - analysed the antibody's molecular structure in lupus and Sjogren's patients to determine its sequence at a "protein level" rather than just on the genomic, or DNA scale, as previous research has done.

The findings have shown that all patients with the particular antibody demonstrated a common molecular signature.

With no cure for the two conditions, Lindop said her groundbreaking research could lead to a "next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics".

Source: IANS
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