A newly identified immunosuppressive protein in rheumatoid arthritis
A complex autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by chronic inflammation and progressive joint damage. This process begins with hyperplasia, or excessive increase in size and thickness, of synovial tissue. Along with provoking cartilage and bone destruction, this abnormal tissue growth is resistant to apoptosis, the natural cell death vital to the generation of healthy new cells.
Decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) is a newly identified member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily. A soluble protein, it is overexpressed in tumor cells, including lung and colon cancers, gastrointestinal tract tumors, and leukemia. It is also expressed in a variety of normal tissue - the colon, lung, stomach, spleen, lymph node, pancreas, and spinal cord. Because rheumatoid synovial cells share traits with tumor cells