Martina Gatzka, M.D.

Martina Gatzka, M.D.


DRAK2: Target for New Therapy
Martina Gatzka, M.D.

University of California
Irvine, CA
Modulation of central and peripheral immunological tolerance by DRAK2, a negative regulator of lymphocyte signaling

When T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, cannot distinguish between self and non-self tissues, they contribute to inflammation and tissue destruction in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

In healthy individuals, the immune system removes a number of natural surveillance mechanisms to prevent T cells from going awry. One such surveillance mechanism is called DRAK2 (DAP-related apoptotic kinase-2). Dr. Gatzka is studying DRAK2’s modulation of T cell activation using a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis. Guided by the results of this research, future work may focus on targeting DRAK2 to develop new therapeutic agents for rheumatic diseases.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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