Organic compounds -- part of the class 532-570 series – Organic compounds – Carbohydrates or derivatives
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Filed of the Invention
The invention relates generally to the fields of immunology, microbiology and inflammatory bowel disease and more specifically to the diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease using microbial antigens.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the collective term used to describe two gastrointestinal disorders of unknown etiology: Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The course and prognosis of IBD, which occurs world-wide and is reported to afflict as many as two million people, varies widely. Onset of IBD is predominantly in young adulthood with diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever the three most common presenting symptoms. The diarrhea may range from mild to severe, and anemia and weight loss are additional common signs of IBD. Ten percent to fifteen percent of all patients with IBD will require surgery over a ten year period. In addition, patients with IBD are at increased risk for the development of intestinal cancer. Reports of an increased occurrence of psychological problems, including anxiety and depression, are perhaps not surprising symptoms of what is often a debilitating disease that strikes people in the prime of life.
Unfortunately, the available therapies for inflammatory bowel disease are few, and both diagnosis and treatment have been hampered by a lack of knowledge regarding the etiology of the disease. What is clear, however, is that a combination of genetic factors, exogenous triggers and endogenous microflora can contribute to the immune-mediated damage to the intestinal mucosa seen in inflammatory bowel disease. In Crohn's disease, bacteria have been implicated in initiation and progression of the disease: the intestinal inflammation in Crohn's disease is notable for its frequent responsiveness to antibiotics and susceptibility to bacterial fecal flow. Common intestinal colonists and novel pathogens have been implicated in Crohn's by direct detection or by disease associated anti-microbial immune responses. Furthermore, in many genetically susceptible animal models of chronic colitis, lumenal micro-organisms are a necessary cofactor for disease; animals housed in a germ-free environment do not develop colitis. However, despite much direct and indirect evidence for a role for enteric microorganisms in Crohn's disease, the pathogenic organisms and antigens contributing to the immune dysregulation seen in this disease have not been identified.
Current diagnostic assays for Crohn's disease are unable to detect all patients with the disease. Thus, identification of novel microbial antigens associated with Crohn's disease would provide reagents that can increase the sensitivity of current diagnostic assays. In addition, such microbial antigens can bear a disease related T-cell epitope and, as original or contributing inducers of the disease-related immune response, can be effective tolerogenic antigens for treating inflammatory bowel disease. Identification of IBD-associated microbial antigens also would facilitate isolation of the involved microbial species, paving the way for the discovery of new antibiotics or drugs for treating inflammatory bowel disease, such drugs ameliorating disease by eliminating the microbial inducers of disease.
Thus, there is a need for identification and isolation of microbial IBD-associated antigens for diagnosing and treating the many individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. The present invention satisfies this need by providing the IBD-associated I-1 and I-2 microbial antigens. Related advantages are provided as well.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an isolated inflammatory bowel disease-associated I-2 polypeptide having substantially the same amino acid sequence as SEQ ID NO: 2. The invention also provides an isolated immunoreactive fragment of an I-2 polypeptide having substantially the same amino acid sequence as a portion of SEQ ID NO: 2. An isolated immunoreactive fragment of an I-2 polypeptide can have, for example, at least ten contiguous amino acids of SEQ ID NO: 2.
Also provided by the present invention is substantially purified antibody material that selectively binds an I-2 polypeptide having SEQ ID NO: 2. Such a substantially purified antibody material can be, for example, substantially purified polyclonal or monoclonal antibody material.
The invention further provides an isolated nucleic acid molecule having a nucleic acid sequence encoding substantially the same amino acid sequence as SEQ ID NO: 2. An isolated nucleic acid molecule of the invention can have, for example, the nucleic acid sequence SEQ ID NO: 1.
Also provided by the invention is a method of diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a subject. The method includes the steps of obtaining a sample from the subject; contacting the sample with an I-2 polypeptide, or immunoreactive fragment thereof, under conditions suitable to form a complex of the I-2 polypeptide, or the immunoreactive fragment thereof, and antibody to the I-2 polypeptide; and detecting the presence or absence of the complex, where the presence of the complex indicates that the subject has IBD. A method of the invention for diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease can be useful, for example, for diagnosing Crohn's disease. In a method of the invention for diagnosing inflammatory bowel disease, the presence or absence of the complex can be detected, for example, with a detectable secondary antibody that has specificity for a class determining portion of the antibody to the I-2 polypeptide.
Further provided by the invention is a method of inducing tolerance in a patient with inflammatory bowel disease by administering an effective dose of an I-2 polypeptide, or tolerogenic fragment thereof, to the patient with IBD. The methods of the invention can be particularly useful for treating a patient having Crohn's disease. In a method of the invention for inducing tolerance, the I-2 polypeptide to be administered can have, for example, the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2.
The invention also provides a composition including an I-2 polypeptide having substantially the same amino acid sequence as SEQ ID NO: 2, or tolerogenic fragment thereof, combined with a tolerogizing molecule. In a composition of the invention, the I-2 polypeptide can have, for example, the amino acid sequence SEQ ID NO: 2. A tolerogenic fragment useful in a composition of the invention can have, for example, at least ten contiguous amino acids of SEQ ID NO: 2.
The present invention also provides a method of identifying an agent useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. The method includes the steps of obtaining a specimen of an enteric microbe from a patient with inflammatory bowel disease; isolating from the specimen a microbial species that includes a nucleic acid molecule encoding an I-2 polypeptide; contacting the microbial species with an agent; and assaying for reduced growth or viability of the microbial species as compared to the growth or viability in the absence of the agent, where the reduced growth or viability of the microbial species indicates that the agent is an agent useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. A method of the invention can be useful, for example, for identifying an agent for treating Crohn's disease. The methods of the invention can be particularly useful for screening agents which are antibiotics.
The invention additionally provides a method of identifying an agent useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease using a novel animal model. The method includes the steps of administering an I-2 polypeptide to a non-human animal, whereby one or more symptoms of IBD are exhibited; administering an agent to the non-human animal; and assaying the level of the one or more symptoms characteristic of IBD, where a reduction in the level of the one or more symptoms as compared to a control level indicates that the agent is an agent useful in treating IBD. The methods of the invention can be applied, for example, to
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