Inflammation is classical pathogenic concept, but still very crucial for understanding many disorders even in twenty-first century. The purpose of inflammation is to eliminate the damaged tissues and to initiate tissue repair. By contrast, chronic inflammation leads to intractable diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. We recently cloned synoviolin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, as an overexpressing molecule in rheumatoid synovium and has been verifying its critical roles in RA, inflammatory cytokine signaling, and fibrosis. Moreover, synoviolin-deficient mice exhibited severe anemia caused by defective nursing activity of erythrocytes in the fetal liver. This phenomenon resembles of RA that accelerates nursing activity. Our data indicate a close relationship between embryogenesis and RA. We successfully discovered synoviolin inhibitors, LS-101 and LS-102. These drugs have inhibitory effects to synoviolin in vitro and in vivo. We are now proceeding with the optimization of small compounds, and we hope our research will lead to the development of a new therapy for RA and fibrosis and other synoviolin-related diseases.
Part of the book: New Developments in the Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis