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Tβ4 Shown to Increase Gene Expression of Key Wound Healing Enzyme in the Cornea


BETHESDA, Md. - According to RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., researchers at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, Michigan, have found that thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4) increases MMP-1 levels in the cornea. MMPs, especially MMP-1, have an important role in the wound healing process as they are involved in cell motility (the movement of new cells to the wound site) and are an integral part of the complex wound healing cascade. Conversely, it has been shown that blocking MMPs inhibits the wound healing process.

The authors included Gabriel Sosne, M.D., Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Anatomy/Cell Biology at the Kresge Eye Institute, of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI; Ping Qiu, Department of Ophthalmology, the Kresge Eye Institute, Detroit, MI; and Michelle Wheater, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, Detroit, MI, published their latest findings in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, Online Edition, March 8, 2007. Dr. Sosne is a member of RegeneRx’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board.

“Our discovery in the cornea extends the previous studies in the skin by Dr. Hynda Kleinman’s laboratory and further supports our scientific basis for using Tβ4 clinically to treat corneal wound healing disorders. Tβ4’s ability to rapidly increase levels of MMPs correlates with how it accelerates wound healing in the cornea. Additionally, the ability to understand and regulate these molecules enables us to target the most appropriate clinical applications for novel agents such as Tβ4,” according to Dr. Sosne.


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