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New psoriasis treatment may also offer key to slow-healing skin

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A protein that has been linked to the accelerated production of skin cells, which is the cause of the skin condition psoriasis, could not only hold the key to reducing the symptoms of psoriasis but may also help with slow-healing skin.

While the over-production of skin cells is the cause of psoriasis, for skin that is slow to heal it’s the opposite problem.

[quote]But a specific protein, REG3A, has been identified in new research as being instrumental in both slowing down skin cell production to help ease psoriasis while helping to speed up the healing process of hard-to-heal skin wounds.[/quote]

In a paper published in the June edition of the medical journal Immunity, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a molecule that may lead to new treatments for both problems.

They discovered that a molecule called regenerating islet-derived protein 3-alpha (REG3A) is highly expressed in skin cells during psoriasis and wound-healing, but not under normal skin conditions.

In tests researchers found that inhibiting REG3A slowed wound-healing but cleared up psoriasis.

The researchers concluded that now further research was required to investigate the potential of a drug that inhibits the expression of REG3A, which would be a more targeted way to treat psoriasis without the systemic immunosuppression problems of current treatments. Conversely, the researchers also noted that a drug that stimulates or mimics REG3A could also boost cell growth and improve wound healing.

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