COPD AND GENES
ANCHOR LEAD: CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE, A COMMON LUNG CONDITION, MAY BE THE RESULT OF A GENE TURNED OFF, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
COPD is the acronym for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a disabling condition where the lungs become less and less able to inflate and provide the body with oxygen. Ultimately the condition often results in death, and is predicted to soon become the number 3 killer worldwide. Johns Hopkins researchers led by Shyam Biswal have found a specific gene that’s involved.
BISWAL: What we have found in our study is there is a gene switch which regulates most of our antioxidants in the lungs, called NRF2, and our study shows that the smokers who have advanced COPD, lack the antioxidant system in the lung, due to malfunction of this gene switch. :17
Biswal says one objective of therapy could be to turn this gene back on in people with COPD, or to target products or processes of the gene so that antioxidants in the lungs would once again be operational. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.