Bat protein ASC2 fights arthritis, heart disease and slows ageing

ASC2, bat protein, inflammation, arthritis, COVID-19, ebola, arthritis digestA protein from bats – ASC2 – could stave off health issues including arthritis, COVID-19 and heart disease, and even contain the key to slowing the ageing process, says research in a leading journal.

Bats live for around 20 years on average, and are unharmed from many pathogens that can be fatal to humans such as COVID-19 and Ebola.

Experts investigating the resilience of bats have discovered a protein responsible for their immune defence. It is hoped that drugs will be made to mimic ASC2, which halts the inflammatory response in bats.

“[ASC2) may not be the only factor, as biology is never as simple as one molecule or one pathway,” explains Prof Linfa Wang who is involved in the research. “But the overall dampening of inflammation most likely plays a role in health aging in bats. We are hoping to develop a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammasome-driven human diseases.”

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