Periostin as a therapeutic target for liver disease.
- New therapeutic target for preventing fibrosis from entering cirrhosis stage.
- Therapeutic target may be used for identifying new therapy for fibrosis.
Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver is unable to function normally due to chronic, or long lasting, injury. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue causing fibrosis leading to partial blocks to the flow of blood through the liver. A liver transplant is recommended when a person's liver no longer functions adequately enough to keep them alive. There is a need for therapeutics that work to prevent fibrosis that eventually lead to cirrhosis and, in a worse scenario, a liver transplant.
Emory researchers have discovered that periostin, a nonstructural regulatory matrix glycoprotein, plays a critical role promoting fibrosis by several new mechanisms. A key function of periostin is in wound healing and tissue repair. These mechanisms of action can be exploited as therapeutic targets for liver disease.
Proof of concept experiments have been done in mice.