Penn study has implications for treating bacterial infection and diseases of auto-immunity and inflammation

June 22, 2009

Penn Medicine News Release

Protein Structures from the Human Immune System's Oldest Branch Shed Light on a Range of Diseases

PHILADELPHIA – How molecules of the oldest branch of the human immune system have interconnected has remained a mystery. Now, two new structures, both involving a central component of an enzyme important to the complement system of the immune response, reveal how this system fights invading microbes while avoiding problems of the body attacking itself.

The structures may pave the way to more efficient therapeutics for such complement-mediated diseases as age-related macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as give insight into the pathogenesis of other immune and inflammatory diseases... Read More