Researchers at Hormel Institute make discovery

Published 8:11 am Monday, July 22, 2013

Researchers at The Hormel Institute led a group of scientists in discovering a “missing link” in the major cell pathway involved in chronic inflammation, a condition contributing to the development of cancer and many other diseases.

Led by Dr. Rhoderick Brown, leader of the Membrane Biochemistry section, the research is featured in the scientific journal, Nature, which was released online Wednesday and to be published in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

Brown and his team at The Hormel Institute made the initial discovery of a previously unknown protein in the body needed to prevent the over-accumulation of a sphingolipid known as ceramide-1-phosphate (C1P) at specific sites within cells. When the protein, named CPTP, is depleted from cells, the inflammatory process becomes activated.

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After making the discovery, Brown’s team collaborated with three other research labs. Researchers found a new way to regulate the body’s pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which contribute to the development of diseases, such as cancer or asthma

“This is the kind of exciting basic research discovery that can lead to the development of new therapeutic treatments for controlling inflammation that is associated with various diseases, including cancer,” Brown said.