Healthy Living

Newly Discovered 'Backup' Immune System Could Help Doctors Improve Crohn's Treatment

The problem with Crohn's and autophagy

The problem with Crohn's and autophagy

The autophagy process is singled to start by loss of nutrients, infection, danger signals, or pro-inflammatory cytokines. Patients with Crohn’s often have a mutation of the NOD2 and ATG16L1 genes, which are not as good at signaling autophagy to start.

The “secondary process” discovered in the UT Southwestern research is not classic autophagy, but appears to use the same processes.

“This substitute pathway uses classical autophagy machinery to make and transport protein weapon reinforcements to the cell surface after the first line of defense fails,” said Dr. Hooper of the UT Southwestern research findings.