Skip to main content
< Back to news
From left to right, the researchers Marc López, Francisco Ciruela, Josep Maria de Anta and Concepció Soler (Foto: UB)..

Researchers identify a key molecule in psoriasis development

A study published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology has identified a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of psoriasis. The work shows that the TREX2 gene has a relevant role in the inflammatory response that develops during the illness. The research –led by researchers from the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL)–  counts with the participation of experts from the Scientific and Technologic Centers of the UB (CCiTUB) based at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB).

The study shows that skin with psoriasis has a high increase of the TREX2 expression that focuses on the cell nucleus of keratinocyte –the most abundant cells on the skin- which are spreading, dying and differentiating in a strange way. Therefore, the results suggest an important role of the processing DNA gene.

“In our study, we highlight the essential role of TREX2 promoting DNA degradation and its consequent cell death of keratinocyte, influencing the skin immune response. The release of several signals by skin cells that are dying contributes to the creation and spreading of the chronic immune response and hyper-proliferation and irregular differentiation of epidermis”, says Joan Manils, first author of the study and member of the mentioned department and post-doctorate researcher at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (Ireland).

The results show TREX2 as a potential therapeutic target to tackle this disease with a different and more focused strategy. “Most of the current treatments are aimed at blocking the action of the immune system and if they have good results, these treatments are chronic and involve the immune response of the sick person”, says Francisco Ciruela, co-author of the study, Professor at the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapeutics of the UB and Head of the Research Group on Neuropharmacology and Pain at IDIBELL.

The next objective of the researchers is to decode the action mechanism of TREX2 in the development and maintenance of psoriasis, so as to design new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of this disease.

More information on UB webiste [+]