Tags make ulcerative colitis biomarkers glow

Scripps Research Institute researchers have found a florescent tag that could help them to find biomarkers for ulcerative colitis and other diseases linked with protein arginine deiminases (PAD), such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. PADs are enzymes that help form the amino acid citrulline, and if they act abnormally, this can change the activity of proteins. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, can range from a few episodes of diarrhea to gastrointestinal bleeding and changes that can lead to cancer. Diagnosis is invasive, requiring colonoscopies and biopsies, and access to biomarkers could allow earlier diagnosis and better treatment. However, this is early-stage research in animals, and the results will need to be validated in human studies. Press release | Abstract