Scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have developed a molecule that inhibits a key inflammation trigger and prevents the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). Results from this research have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
This small drug-like molecule called WEHI-345 binds to and inhibits receptor interacting protein kinase 2 (RIPK2), a key immune signaling protein, which prevents the release of inflammatory cytokines. When WEHI-345 was used in preclinical models after the first onset of MS symptoms, disease progression was prevented in 50% of the cases.
Scientists plan to utilize WEHI-345 to further study the cytokine pathway to develop a stronger RIPK2 to treat inflammatory disease. Although WEHI-345 delayed, not blocked, the signaling pathway, researchers report it was enough to completely shut off cytokine production. The study findings may help identify future drug targets to control inflammation.
For more information visit Nature.com.