The IDIBELL research group led by Dr. Josep Maria Aran has presented a recombinant protein with promising immunomodulatory activity in Frontiers in Immunology journal. The protein can move the cells of the immune system from a pro-inflammatory state to a tolerogenic and anti-inflammatory state.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which cells of the immune system attack tissues. This can cause significant damage to many parts of the body, such as the articulations, kidneys, or lungs. In this study, the researchers have shown that this recombinant protein can reverse the pro-inflammatory state and, therefore, the body attack by the cells of the immune system of patients with lupus nephritis.
“This ability to stop the proinflammatory state of patients’ cells with lupus highlights the great therapeutic potential of this recombinant protein for the treatment of lupus and other autoimmune diseases,” says Dr. Arán.
The recombinant protein developed is a restructuring of a protein that regulates the innate immune system, our body’s first line of defense. The researchers have identified and rearranged the necessary domains of this regulatory protein to achieve the desired modulatory effect, avoiding the unwanted collateral activity of the original protein.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).