Human kidneys naturally produce the protein interleukin 37 (IL-37), which has potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. But the volumes of its production are negligible, therefore, in order to create drugs on its basis, it is necessary to establish protein synthesis outside the body. One of the most promising solutions is to use genetically modified tobacco varieties for this.
Interleukin has long been learned to obtain in laboratory conditions from bacteria, but this method is long and costly. Therefore, scientists from two countries at once, Canada and Italy, began to develop a genetic modification of tobacco so that it would begin to produce this protein as it grew. Both groups have achieved success, but the achievement of the Canadians is better - they have learned to obtain protein immediately of the desired quality and in significant quantities.
Tobacco was selected as a test plant because of its high yield and growth rate. Two weeks are enough for you to start isolating and collecting interleukin-37. At the same time, the plant does not require special care, it grows in the same way as under normal conditions. And this gives hope to create appropriate modifications for other transgenic plants, such as potatoes, in order to obtain living "green factories" for the production of useful proteins on an industrial scale.
If the medicine has enough interleukin-37 at its disposal, it will be possible to start developing new drugs to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, dementia, and arthritis. It also has prospects as an aid in transplantation, to reduce the likelihood of inflammation while restoring blood flow functions. And the tobacco industry will get a chance to retrain from the manufacturer of "poison" to the creator of drugs.