London: Scientists have claimed to have found a ‘Sharpin' inflammation controlling protein which could play a key role to fight deadly diseases like cancers and autoimmune.

'Sharpin' controls inflammation induced by 'Tumour Necrosis Factor', a vital part of body's defences against cancer, a journal reported.

According to the scientists, the research may also shed light on the causes of certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

An international team, led by Imperial College London and funded by Cancer Research UK, has characterised the role of 'Sharpin'.

Tumour Necrosis Factor or TNF plays a pivotal role in protecting the body against infection by bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. It does so by directing the immune system to spot rogue pathogens and then destroy them. If unregulated, it's known to cause unwanted inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

In their research on laboratory mice, the scientists have discovered how Sharpin protein prevents TNF from inducing inflammation, providing new clues to how cancers may be able to destroy immune system.

The study found that the inflammatory skin disease in mice lacking Sharpin could be resolved by switching off TNF.

The team developed a state-of-the-art technique to identify and characterise the new molecular changes involved in the discovery.

"We are excited by what our technique has shown which has not been previously possible due to technological barriers. A better understanding of these pathways will ultimately lead to better therapies for diseases that involve immune dysfunction," team member Dr Andrew Webb of Melbourne
University said.