Last updated July 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm
Discovery unlocks mysteries of our immune system.
CSIRO has identified a new gene that plays a critical role in regulating the body’s immune response to infection and disease.
Something that significant clearly needs an impressive name, and C6orf106, or even C6, just doesn’t cut it. CSIRO has the right to choose the right name – but is seeking help.
“The current name, C6orf106, reflects the gene’s location within the human genome, rather than relating to any particular function,” said researcher Dr Cameron Stewart. “We think we can do better than that, and are inviting suggestions from the public.”
To find out how to nominate a name for the new gene visit: www.csiro.au/namethegene.
C6 controls the production of proteins involved in infectious diseases, cancer and diabetes. It has existed for 500 million years, but its potential is only now understood.
“Our immune system produces proteins called cytokines that help fortify the immune system and work to prevent viruses and other pathogens from replicating and causing disease,” Stewart said.
“C6 regulates this process by switching off the production of certain cytokines to stop our immune response from spiralling out of control.
“The cytokines regulated by C6 are implicated in a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.”
The discovery helps improve our understanding of the immune system, and it is hoped it will lead to the development of new treatments for influenza, arthritis and even cancer.