According to a study published last week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers have now discovered a way to turn off a potential trigger of inflammation for those with the disease, a finding that could one day lead to better treatments.
That observation led to two questions, says the new study's lead author and recent Stanford graduate, Michael Yi, PhD: what turns TG2 on in celiac disease, and what turns it off?
Chaitan Khosla, PhD, a professor of chemistry and director of Stanford ChEM-H, and his lab found an answer to the first question in 2011, when they reported the discovery of a molecule that switched TG2 from its inactive to active state.
Then, Khosla, Yi, and colleagues started to look for the off switch.
"We likened it to a fishing expedition at first," Yi says, but they were able to narrow the search based on what they'd learned about TG2's on switch from the 2011 study, and now, they say, they found the off switch.