Asthma is a complex, chronic disease that currently affects around 5.4 million people in the UK. It’s characterised by the inflammation and narrowing of the airways, and excess mucus production – all of which cause difficulty breathing. There are a large number of asthma therapies currently being investigated, all with the aim of effectively controlling different aspects of the disease. A recent study looked into targeting transcription factors – molecules that have the ability to switch genes on or off within the cell nucleus – within mucus-producing goblet cells lining the airways (seen running along this stained section of lung tissue on the right). FOXM1 is one such transcription factor that is pivotal to goblet cells By blocking the activity of FOXM1 with a new drug called RCM-1 in mice, researchers saw a reduction in the production of goblet cells and inflammation, providing hope for a new treatment.
This is Breathe Easy Week
Written by Katie Panteli
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.