VIB researchers in Belgium uncover new target in inflammatory diseases

30 Jan 2008 | News

Research lead

VIB researchers connected to Ghent University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have elucidated the function of MALT1, a key player in controlling inflammatory responses.

The team is the first to show that MALT1 is able to cleave the A20 protein, inhibiting inflammation, and thus represents an important target in auto immune diseases, including Crohn’s diseases, rheumatism and psoriasis.

It has long been recognised that MALT1 plays an important role in initiating inflammatory reactions. The VIB researchers are the first to find that MALT1 is a protease that cleaves the A20 protein. In normal circumstances, A20 inhibits inflammatory reactions and so by cleaving A20, MALT1 counteracts this inhibition, allowing the inflammatory process to progress.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up