A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore discovered a new mitochondrial peptide called MOCCI that plays an important role in regulating inflammation of blood vessel and immunity. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, revealed how one gene encoded two molecules that provide two-pronged protection following viral infection.
Chronic and excessive inflammation of the blood vessels, known as vascular inflammation, can lead to tissue damage and cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and fibrosis. Although some therapies have shown promising results in clinical trials, they have considerable side effects, such as immunosuppression leading to increased risk of infection, and limited efficacy. Therefore, more effective treatments are urgently needed.