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Novel Peptides Target Inflammation

A cross-disciplinary collaboration among four research teams from three continents has developed novel peptides that have the potential to treat diseases involving inflammation, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, reperfusion injuries, and sepsis. This work is reported in a research article published in the May 10 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  The collaboration includes Christodoulos Floudas, Stephen C. Macaleer ’63 Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering of Princeton University, Dimitrios Morikis, Professor of Bioengineering, University of California, Riverside, Peter Monk of the Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield Medical School, UK, and Trent Woodruff of the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia.


The peptides target the innate immune system receptor C3aR, a G protein-coupled receptor, which upon binding with its native ligand C3a modulates inflammatory responses.  C3a has dual and opposing roles in promoting or suppressing inflammation, depending on the cellular system, making the development of C3aR agonists and antagonists of interest in drug design for regulation of inflammation.

For more information, see the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s press release, and the Computer-Aided Systems Laboratory news.