Enzyme revealed as promising target to treat asthma and cancer

Lyra Nara Blog

In experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified an enzyme involved in the regulation of immune system T cells that could be a useful target in treating asthma and boosting the effects of certain cancer therapies.

In research described online April 6 in Nature Immunology, the investigators show that mice without the enzyme SKG1 were resistant to dust mite-induced asthma. And mice with melanoma and missing the enzyme, developed far fewer lung tumors—less than half as many—than mice with SKG1.

“If we can develop a drug that blocks the enzyme in a way that mimics what happens when the enzyme is missing, we would not only have a treatment to inhibit asthma, but also a drug that could be used in conjunction with other experimental therapies aimed at helping the immune system fight cancer,” said Jonathan D. Powell, M.D., professor of oncology at the…

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