”Foxy old gene” offers therapeutic target for liver diseasesAugust 2nd, 2008 - 11:51 am ICT by ANI
London, August 2 (ANI): American researchers have found that a protein called FOXA2 plays an important role in maintaining the proper level of bile in the liver, which helps digest fats.
Experts at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine claim that their finding suggests that FOXA2 may become the focus for new therapies to treat diseases that involve the regulation of bile salts.
After its formation in the liver, bile gets stored in the gall bladder, and transported through ducts to the small intestine where it helps to digest fats from food.
Chemicals in bile that help digest fats and keep cholesterol dissolved are called bile salts. The liver maintains their balance by degrading old bile salts and synthesizing new ones.
Problems arise when too many bile salts accumulate in the liver.
The researchers say that diseases of bile regulation, like primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), are characterized by problems with bile transport from the liver to the gut.
In children with biliary atresia and adults with PSC, they have found that the expression of FOXA2 in the liver is severely reduced.
According to them, FOXA2 regulates the expression of transporter proteins that are responsible for moving bile out of the liver, as well as several enzymes that function in bile acid detoxification.
Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that low FOXA2 levels exacerbate liver injury.
The researchers believe that medications or DNA therapies that increase the expression of FOXA2 in liver cells may offer a new means of treating PSC and other similar syndromes.
“In order to lay the groundwork for developing new treatments, we have to determine how FOXA2 itself is regulated,” Nature magazine quoted first author Irina Bochkis, a doctoral student in Genomics and Computational Biology, as saying. (ANI)
- Protein protects liver against excess bile - Aug 02, 2008
- Immune system's natural killer cells linked to infant liver disease - Jul 23, 2009
- Curcumin could slow liver disease: Study - Mar 26, 2010
- Chinese moms to donate liver to each other's kids - Sep 12, 2012
- Study sheds new light on the causes of chronic liver cirrhosis - Mar 14, 2011
- Potential new non-insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes found - Mar 25, 2011
- Marathon liver transplant saves three toddlers (with Images) - Jan 17, 2012
- Cholesterol regulator plays key role in development of liver fibrosis - Mar 31, 2011
- A drug that relieves you of constipation - May 11, 2011
- Delaying fat digestion could be key to curbing appetite - Aug 20, 2010
- Protein that controls liver stem cells, prevents tumor development found - Aug 13, 2010
- Antioxidant protein promotes clogging of arteries, says study - Jan 11, 2011
- Master regulator gene's discovery takes scientists a step closer to possible diabetes cure - Jul 21, 2009
- Scientists clue in on why saliva glands stop working - Jun 03, 2011
- Potential new target for diabetes, heart disease treatments identified - Nov 17, 2010
Tags: american researchers, bile acid, bile salts, biliary atresia, computational biology, doctoral student, food chemicals, gall bladder, liver cells, liver diseases, liver injury, nature magazine, pennsylvania school, primary sclerosing cholangitis psc, school of medicine, small intestine, therapeutic target, transporter proteins, university of pennsylvania, university of pennsylvania school of medicine