Researchers have identified a key component—the human gene CLYD—in the pathological process of pulmonary fibrosis. The gene serves as a crucial negative regulator in the development of the disease, halting its progression that leads to death.

"In some patients, CLYD does not function as it should or its protein level is lower than in normal individuals," said Jian-Dong Li, director of the Georgia State University Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Inflammation and Immunity.

"If this does happen, the human tissue repairing response can go out of control, leading to the development of fibrosis," added Li, senior author of the study and professor of biology at GSU.

The findings, which appear in the journal Nature Communications, could create an opportunity for the development of therapies to fight the disease by aiming at the CLYD gene.

There are currently no effective treatments available to cure pulmonary fibrosis.

Source: Georgia State University