Liver disease and heart disease are two common ailments Americans suffer from. One in ten Americans suffers from liver disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country. The prominence of these diseases makes them common topics for life science research. Researchers from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey recently found a connection between an antioxidant and liver and heart disease.
Researchers know that the antioxidant response system is one of the first defense systems the body calls on to prevent cell damage when invaders are present. Through studying mouse models, the Rutgers research team found that the protein TRIM21, which is supposed to trigger an immune response, stopped necessary antioxidant proteins from performing properly. The lack of proper function of TRIM21 caused oxidative stress in the body, leading to the release of harmful molecules, which in turn led to serious illness.
Wei-Xing Zong, lead researcher in this study from the Department of Chemical Biology at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy explained that: "The (TRIM21) protein exists naturally in our body; without it, we could easily succumb to other manageable infections. But this study has shown us that when we run into severe pathological conditions like heart and liver disease it would be more beneficial to inhibit the TRIM21 protein because it is preventing the cell from protecting itself against damage.”
The research team found that when the TRIM21 gene was not activated, the mice suffered less heart and liver damage, suggesting that TRIM21 does plays a role in these conditions. Given this new knowledge, the New Jersey researchers believe that drugs inhibiting the activity of TRIM21 could treat these common diseases.
"These exciting new results suggest that drugs that reduce the activity of TRIM21 could be highly effective new tools for the treatment of conditions that are driven by high oxidative stress, including liver and heart disease,” Zong said.
Results from this study were published in the journal Molecular Cell on March 3, 2016.
Rutgers University, New Brunswick is a top-ranked research institution, receiving millions of dollars annually in the form of grants, awards, and donations. In the 2015 fiscal year, the university received more than $55.6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has already been awarded $11.1 million for the 2016 fiscal year.
Departments at the university receiving substantial amounts of this funding include:
- Genetics - $15.3 million
- Pharmacology - $6.8 million
- Biochemistry - $5.1 million
- Chemistry - $4.7 million
- Anatomy/Cell Biology - $2.3 million
With this funding, researchers at Rutgers University have the means to purchase many new lab products that will assist their research projects and clinical trials. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ in New Brunswick that is a premiere opportunity for laboratory suppliers to market to Rutgers life science researchers, and allows the researchers to find the best products and technologies for their work.
The 2nd Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ in New Brunswick, NJ will be held on May 11, 2016 is expected to attract over a hundred life scientists. Last year, 118 attendees came from 19 different research buildings and 21 on-campus departments.
To learn more about exhibiting at this popular event, visit the link below:
Researchers at Rutgers University interested in discovering new tools and technologies available for their labs are invited to learn more about attending this free event by visiting the link below: