NF-κB inducing kinase is a therapeutic target for systemic lupus erythematosus

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2018-01-12

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02672-0

Affiliations: 11

Authors: 35

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Research Highlight

Drug lead for lupus



A new strategy for blocking a wide range of immune signalling pathways to treat the autoimmune disease lupus has shown therapeutic promise in mice.

Scientists at Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, developed a potent and highly selective inhibitor of NF-κB-inducing kinase, an enzyme that mediates the function of a large group of immune regulators. They administered the drug to mice with a lupus-like condition, and found that it prolonged survival, and helped ameliorate kidney damage.

Molecular studies in these mice and in human cells showed that the drug effectively blocked a protein called BAFF, the target of an antibody drug called Benlysta (belimumab), the only lupus therapy approved in the last 63 years.

Since the new Genentech drug also inhibits many other related proteins to improve immune profiles in the spleen and inflammatory gene expression patterns in the kidney, the authors suggest it could prove to be a more effective therapy than Benlysta.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 9, 179 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02672-0
Institutions Share
Genentech, Inc., United States of America (USA) 0.91
Evotec AG, Germany 0.09