Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be debilitating, causing long-term, impaired gastrointestinal structure and function. Until now, no cure has been found and existing treatments can have strongly detrimental side effects. Iron is an essential nutrient that participates in many central life processes, and regulating Iron distribution within tissues and subcellular compartments has a role in health and disease. Iron homeostasis also influences the immune system. Iron homeostasis is maintained by iron regulatory proteins (IRPs). RNA binding activity of IRP1 is elevated specifically in the inflamed area and that this non-iron mediated misregulation of IRP1 causes an imbalance of iron importers and exporters, and animals lacking the IRP1 response to inflammation are resistant to the escalation of inflammation leading to IBD. This constitutes a novel approach to IBD therapy that rebalances impaired iron homeostasis by selectively inhibiting the activity and/or the expression of the iron regulatory protein (IRP) 1 and not IRP2. Inhibitors of IRP1 can be highly effective as a form of treatment, avoiding the disruptive side-effects associated with immune interventions.
- highly effective IBD treatment, without the side-effects associated with immune interventions
Applications and Opportunities
- Novel approach for IBD therapy