Protein discovery could be target for psoriasis therapy

June 26, 2012

Investigators from the University of California, San Diego, have isolated a molecule that may assist in clearing psoriasis and improve wound healing.

San Diego - Investigators from the University of California, San Diego, have isolated a molecule that may assist in clearing psoriasis and improve wound healing.

The scientists noted that a molecule called regenerating islet-derived protein 3-alpha (REG3A) is highly expressed in skin cells during psoriasis and during healing, but not during normal circumstances, Medicalxpress.com reports. The researchers analyzed skin biopsies of patients with wounds on their backs, and both with and without psoriasis.

Medicalxpress.com reports that clinical tests on mice showed that inhibiting REG3A slowed wound healing, but cleared psoriasis.

Study investigators also found that REG3A acted in concert with interleukin-17, a protein that prompts skin cells to multiply in excessive numbers.

“A drug that inhibits the expression of REG3A could represent a more targeted way to treat psoriasis without the systemic immunosuppression problems of current treatments,” the authors wrote. “Conversely, a drug that stimulates or mimics REG3A could boost cell growth and improve wound healing.”

The study was published online June 21 in Immunity.

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