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Molecular ‘brake’ prevents excessive inflammation

Inflammation is a Catch-22: the body needs it to eliminate invasive organisms and foreign irritants, but excessive inflammation can harm healthy cells, contributing to aging and sometimes leading to organ failure and death. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that a protein known as p62 acts as a molecular brake to keep inflammation in check and avoid collateral damage. The mouse study is published February 25 in Cell.

Macrophage (yellow, center) in the liver.
Credit: UC San Diego Health