Press about RVC

Russian Scientists Learned to Locally Suppress Inflammation in Autoimmune Diseases

24.03.2020
Source: TASS

Researchers at the NTI Competence Center at the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (IBC) of the Russian Academy of Sciences has found a way to reduce inflammation of organs and tissues that develops with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases due to a medication that suppresses this process at the cellular level. This was announced to TASS on Tuesday by the press service of Russian Venture Company (RVC).

The proteasome is a complex combination of enzymes responsible for the destruction of proteins that have lost their function in the body. Immunoproteasomes, as a particular type of this combination, are present in cells of the immune system, as well as in cells located in the foci of inflammation, including the development of autoimmune diseases. Among them are multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, and many others. The authors of the study have learned to block the immunoproteasome involved in the development of inflammatory process to alleviate the symptoms of these diseases.

“The data that scientists obtained from tests on cell cultures and animal models suggests that immunoproteasomes' symptoms of autoimmune diseases are alleviated when using the created inhibitors. That is, this method allows reducing the severity of the course of the disease,” TASS was told in the press service.

The basis for alternative medications being developed in the world, which are currently undergoing clinical trials, also has the immunoproteasome “shutdown” mechanism. However, they affect not only the complex in the foci of inflammation but also on proteasomes involved in the immune system. The suppression of their activity inevitably leads to a decrease in immunity. Hence, patients become more vulnerable to infections that become chronic. Researchers at the

NTI Competence Center have found a way to target only “inflammatory” proteasomes in the desired cell population.

“In the usual case, with a decrease in inflammation, immunity also decreases; there is an increased risk of systemic infections. Our approach is that we set a type of immunoproteasomes contained in specialized cells — oligodendrocytes. They form the myelin sheath of axons inside the central nervous system, and these cells are the targets of the immune system during multiple sclerosis. By blocking a specific type of immunoproteasome with a specific inhibitor contained in oligodendrocytes in case of developing inflammation, we can hide these cells from the immune system,” explained Deputy Head of the Center for Science, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biomedicine at the Center for Scientific and Technical Research, RAS Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Alexey Belogurov.

The composition of the medication contains low molecular weight compounds, rather than recombinant polypeptides, which reduces the cost of its production, the scientist also said. Several Russian pharmaceutical companies have already become interested in this development. The next stage of scientific work should be full-scale preclinical studies, and in the future — clinical trials.

NTI

The Competence Center of NTI IBCh RAS is one of 14 centers of competence of the National Technological Initiative; it is involved in the development of biotechnologies. Each Center brings together universities, research centers, and innovative enterprises to create end-to-end technologies that will be in demand in new global markets in 15–20 years. The operator of the project to create the NTI Competence Centers is Russian Venture Company.



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