Research ArticleInflammation

The flavonoid cyanidin blocks binding of the cytokine interleukin-17A to the IL-17RA subunit to alleviate inflammation in vivo

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Sci. Signal.  21 Feb 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 467, eaaf8823
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf8823

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How red berries reduce inflammation

Members of the interleukin-17 (IL-17) family of proinflammatory cytokines are important in the immune response to infections; however, excessive IL-17 signaling is associated with autoimmune inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Through a screen of small molecules, Liu et al. found that cyanidin, a flavonoid found in red berries and other fruits, bound to the IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA) in a manner that blocked the binding of IL-17A. In several mouse models of inflammatory disease, cyanidin alleviated inflammation induced by T cells that produce IL-17A. Together, these data suggest that cyanidin should be further developed as a small-molecule inhibitor of IL-17A–dependent inflammatory diseases.