Research ArticlesSEPSIS

Protective effect of the long pentraxin PTX3 against histone-mediated endothelial cell cytotoxicity in sepsis

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Science Signaling  16 Sep 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 343, pp. ra88
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005522

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Smothering Killer Proteins

Sepsis is a potentially fatal condition in which inflammation in response to infection goes out of control, and treatment options are limited. Histones are proteins normally found in the nucleus. During sepsis, histones released from dead cells can kill nearby healthy cells. Daigo et al. identified an interaction between pentraxin 3, a protein found in the circulation, and histone proteins. Pentraxin 3 bundled the histones into aggregates that no longer killed healthy cells. When the researchers injected pentraxin 3 into mice with sepsis, the mice had less inflammation and survived. Thus, pentraxin 3 might be an effective therapy against sepsis in humans.