|[October 27, 2013]
NCKU Transnational Research Team Uncovers the Structural Basis for Future Development of Potential Asthma Drugs
TAINAN, Taiwan --(Business Wire)--
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Department of Microbiology and
Immunology Assistant Professor Shu-Ying Wang had her joint
multidisciplinary research published in one of the world's most
prestigious academic journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of America (PNAS) recently.
The research article entitled "Structural insights into the Interaction
of Interleukin 33 (IL-33) with Its Receptors" is in fact a joint effort
with Beijing Tsinghua University Professors Xinquan Wang and Xi Liu, as
well as Michal Hammel and John A. Tainer in Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, aiming to explore the molecular mechanism of IL-33 to
provide structural basis for developing drugs to treat asthma and other
innate immune disease.
The scientific reports in the past have shown that the outbreak and
deterioration of hay fever, astma, allergic rhinitis and other innate
immune disease are related to IL-33, according to Wang.
She said, "It was found that patients with these diseases have
demonstrated higher content of IL-33 than normal people. IL-33 is the
newest and the least understood member in the family of IL-1 cytokines.
How IL-33 exerts its function to cause allergy and asthma has not yet
"In our research, we combine the technologies of protein crystallography
and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) that enable us to visualize the
high-resolution molecular interactions between IL-33 and its receptors,
and discover unprecedented structural information, showing IL-33
receptor ST2 is flexible and exist in different conformation in
solution," revealed Wang.
Wang added, "The project and collaboration were initiated by Xinquan
Wang, who has a keen interest in studying structure-function
relationship of IL-1 family of cytokines and has published the very
first structure of ternary complex, composed of cytokine, receptor and
co-receptor, in Nature Immunology in 2010. In order to truly understand
how these molecules function in solution, Xinquan Wang called me to
collaborate on this project by using the technique small-angle X-ray
Wang says, "Rational drug design, which relies on the three-dimensional
structure information, plays an important role in expediting the drug
development process. By revealing the structural knowledge and
understanding of molecular mechanism of IL-33, there will be higher
possibility of developing new drugs in the future to effectively cure
innate immune diseases."
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