CCMB Hyderabad study throws new insights on auto-inflammatory disease.

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Scientists from Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in a new research have thrown fresh insights into a rare disease Familial Cold Auto-inflammatory Syndrome (FCAS), which promises better understanding and raises a possibility of devising drugs for controlling inflammation.

The FCAS is described as period fever syndrome that causes periodic fever without any infectious agent such as a virus and bacteria. Many of these syndromes are hereditary and result from gene mutation. The FCAS was study led by researchers Dr Ghanshyam Swarup and Dr Vegesna Radha, and, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, United States.

The human body’s immune system has receptors to detect proteins of pathogenic micro-organisms gaining entry into it. Our cells respond to them by secreting cytokines that causes inflammation and fever. However, there are cases of auto-inflammation where individuals suffer from inflammation without an infection! Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS) is one such example where patients show symptoms of inflammation only upon exposure to sub-normal temperatures.

Certain mutations in the immune receptor proteins are known to cause FCAS, but the actual mechanism of how it works is not known.

A study led by Ghanshyam Swarup and Vegesna Radha at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here has provided an insight into how the FCAS is caused.

The study which is published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.,  identifies a protein, HSC70, as a negative regulator and explains the complex procedure of how the mutation occurs.

This is the first study which describes a mechanism of cold-induced inflammation caused by a mutation in an immune receptor.

The mechanism described in the study is likely to raise the possibility of devising strategies/drugs for modulating the activity of HSC70 or other related proteins for controlling inflammation.

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