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Lab Reports
September 4, 2013

Researchers Identify New Candidate Target for Asthma Therapies

JAMA. 2013;310(9):894. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277035

Targeting an enzyme called Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), which is known for its role in muscle contraction, may help in the treatment of asthma, according to scientists at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, and their colleagues (Sanders PN et al. Sci Transl Med. 2013;5[195]:195ra97).

Previous research has shown that CaMKII is susceptible to reactive oxygen species, which are implicated in the development of asthma but are not targeted by current asthma therapies. This latest study revealed that oxidized CaMKII causes epithelial cells in asthmatic airways to increase expression of proteins involved in asthma progression.