Pleiotrope [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
MDA5 is an intracellular viral receptor that detects picornaviruses and other invaders and elicits immune responses accordingly. It has been implicated in autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and systemic lupus erythematosus, but no mechanistic link has been identified. To learn more about its potential role in autoimmunity, Takashi Fujita (Kyoto University, Japan) and his team engineered mice with a missense mutation of MDA5. The mutant mice spontaneously developed symptoms resembling those of the autoimmune disorder lupus, including inflammation of multiple organs, especially the kidney (Immunity 40, 199–212; 2014).
Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 111 (2014).
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