ARTICLE | Cover Story

A TRAIL in Liver Disease

July 31, 2008 7:00 AM UTC

The molecular mechanisms underlying cholestatic liver disease, which is caused by disrupted bile flow, are relatively unknown.1 A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences now points to a proapoptotic pathway in the liver involving death receptor 5 and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) that potentially could be targeted to help treat the disease or prevent progression to liver failure.

At least two companies are developing antibodies that agonize death receptor 5 (DR5) to treat cancer. However, researchers polled by SciBX warned that targeting the pathway to interfere with apoptosis in the liver requires caution, and they suggested other approaches to restore bile acid homeostasis and to combat fibrosis associated with the disease...