Molecular trigger of inflammatory bowel disease discovered

16 febrero 2015

Cells lining the gut form a barrier that can be breached because of a signaling molecule called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Elevated levels of TNF have been shown to cause inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but what triggers the uptick in TNF is still not clear. Now researchers have discovered that a gene called uhrf1 acts like a kind of molecular handbrake, keeping TNF from setting off signals to inflame and damage the digestive tract.