Recombinant protein generated from Japanin geneprotein
A long-standing collaboration with Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH, UK) has led to the identification of an activity in salivary gland extracts of the tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus that profoundly modulates the responses of human monocyte-DC towards extrinsic stimuli.
Recombinant protein has been generated from the gene for this molecule (Japanin) which had been cloned. This material inhibits the up-regulation of costimulatory molecules in response to certain TLR agonists, and some cytokines but not others, and modulates the function of the DC in ‘in vitro’ assays. A patent was filed by CEH in September 2008 with Austyn named as inventor relating to the potential use of Japanin as a DC modulator for human therapy.