Immune responses are crucial in fighting against infections. An uncontrolled immune response, however, can be deadly. Sepsis is one such inflammatory disease that can lead to organ failure and death, so it is crucial to develop new sepsis therapies. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), although not translated into proteins themselves, can regulate gene expression in biological processes. Studies have shown that lncRNAs can regulate immune responses, which leads to substantial interest in implicating lncRNAs in inflammatory diseases.
This invention involves inhibitors of gastric adenocarcinoma predictive long intergenic noncoding (GAPLINC) RNA, a type of lncRNA, and is based on UC Santa Cruz researchers’ discovery that GAPLINC plays a role in regulating inflammation. GAPLINC knockdown studies suggested that GAPLINC negatively regulates the inflammatory response. Depleting GAPLINC increased expression of immune response genes. Furthermore, in response to endotoxic shock, Gaplinc knockout mice showed 100% survival, whereas wild type mice showed 0% survival after 2 days. By inhibiting GAPLINC, treatment for sepsis can start to go beyond supportive care.