Mitochondria, Caspases and Type I interferons in Autoimmunity
The immune system molecules known as interferons protect us from infections, but they also spur tissue damage in lupus. Dr. Rongvaux has discovered a previously unknown mechanism by which interferons may cause or worsen lupus. Using state-of-the-art technologies, he is investigating how some proteins, known as caspases, block this novel interferon mechanism. He also will test molecules that stimulate caspases, some of which are under development as potential treatments for diseases such as cancer, to determine if they reverse lupus symptoms in mice.
What this study means to people with lupus
Dr. Rongvaux is using state-of-the-art technology to study a newly discovered process that may cause or worsen lupus. His group is trying to find out whether molecules involved in this process are potential targets to validate and advance new treatments, that may reverse symptoms of lupus.