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Article: DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Indigophoton, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Indigophoton

    Indigophoton Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought this was interesting, the significant discovery of how mitochondrial DNA ends up outside the mitochondria, where it can potentially trigger autoimmune conditions.

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-dna-scientists-rogue-molecule-trigger.amp?

    There is a video clip showing the process in action at the link.
     
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  3. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    To my untrained eye that's just a bunch of jiggling blobs! Good job someone else knows what they're looking at.
     
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  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Lovely piece of photography, a bit like Blue Planet II, but nothing much to do with autoimmunity.
     
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  5. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I just read what was posted above but if this is such an easy thing to happen would it not be common and discovered long before now?
     
  6. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Blobs vomiting... Does seeing this happen make any difference to anything at all when it was already known to happen or is this just interesting trivia?
     
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  7. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It is always good to see how things actually work in detail but I cannot see how it adds to our understanding of immune processes particularly. What is sometimes important is to understand the way events occur in microcompartments. This may clarify that.
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Not a moderator

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    I think it's a potential piece of the puzzle which has been presumed to happen before in one theory of autoimmunity, but not actually observed as it happens. This is what Wikipedia says about the method used to detect the escaping DNA:

    Mitochondrial DNA is of particular interest in regard to immune reactions because it's derived from bacterial DNA. Segments of it escaping from cells may look like a foreign invader to parts of our immune systems.
     
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  9. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I do find it interesting that things like this can be seen, but didn't see why it might be a good thing beyond 'oh wow look at that'

    Thanks @Jonathan Edwards and @Valentijn
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Not a moderator

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    It means going beyond "maybe this could happen" to confirming that it does happen or alternatively disproving that it could be what's happening. What happens inside living cells is extremely important, but it can be very hard to study.
     
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  11. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought it was interesting , although I don't think it proves the link with autoimmunity theory though. We have had mitochondria in our cells for a very long long time. Just observing it happen doesn't explain what the significance is?

    The evolutionary theory of mitochondria and chloroplasts also has some fairly loose, yet to be proven assumptions in it and we haven't really got an answer for how this happened; rather that it was a long time ago in the case of mitochondria (although I personally think its plausible). Creating hypothesis this far back in evolutionary history tends to bE problematic since its best guess. I thought that mitochondrial sequencing work never revealed any genetic heritage or links with modern day bacteria, so that seems to suggest the theory is based on a high degree of speculation.
     
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  12. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Fair enough
    I would hope our bodies are attuned to having mitochondria by now but who knows this may turn out to be a big piece of a puzzle.
     
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  13. oldtimer

    oldtimer Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.theage.com.au/national/...tage-inside-a-human-cell-20180222-p4z1bg.html. A similar article but, as a non-scientist, I found it more coherent. Professor Kile describes how this discovery could possibly lead to treatments.

    "It is thought some of this ejected DNA makes its way outside the cell and into the blood.

    This might explain why the immune system in some people seems to go haywire, causing illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Possibly, Professor Kile suggests, the immune system is reacting to the presence of the foreign mitochondrial DNA.

    The find, a “fundamental discovery”, will be used by researchers studying the cause of – and treatments for – autoimmune diseases, says Professor Kile.

    But Professor Kile has a more radical idea: tuning the system to fight cancer.

    If you could get somehow get cancerous cells to release their mitochondrial DNA, you could provoke an enormous immune response against the cells in the tumour.

    “This horrible autoimmune response we want to prevent in healthy people, that could be triggered to fight cancer,” he says."
     
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  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry, but I think this is just naive hype. The autoimmune bit is based on very old tired trite ideas about how autoimmunity comes about that have proved to have no basis.There is also a confusion here between the innate immune response - to bacterial DNA sequences such as CPG - and the adaptive immune responses of autoimmunity. I was surrounded by simplistic ideas like this throughout my career and fortunately managed to ignore them and work out some real mechanisms.
     

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