A protein thought to play a role in the prevention of infectious disease that is present in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients could provide clues about future treatments for the condition, UK scientists told a US conference yesterday.
The team from the University of Sheffield compared the tissue of cystic fibrosis patients with health tissue from patients undergoing removal of a lung tumour.
They discovered the protein, LPLUNC1, present in large concentrations in the small airways of cystic fibrosis patients but only in small amounts in small airways of people without the disease.
LPLUNC1, or Long Palate, Lung and Nasal Epithelial Clone 1, is thought to help fight off infectious agents, heard delegates at the American Physiological Society meetingin Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Lead researcher, Colin Bingle senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield's Medical School, said the role of the protein could help develop new treatments for the condition.
'Knowing how these immune reactions happen could help doctors prevent or harness them to fight the infection before it becomes established,' Dr Bingle added.
For more information go to American Physiological Society