• Study: Caspase-11 causes  the lungs to inflame causing asthma
  • The protein has never been blamed for causing the disease
  • Drugs  that can target the protein may cure the disease

Researchers have made a breakthrough in Asthma diagnosis and its treatment. Along with factors such as air quality, there may be other hidden factors to blame for causing asthma.

A protein, which was known before, but never blamed for causing asthma, may have been the cause of the disease. Researchers have found that the Caspase-11 protein may be causing inflammation in the lungs of asthma patients.

The authors of the study, Zbigniew Zaslona along with Luke O’Neil, professor of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute have been working on inflammation and its role in asthma. They found that Caspase-11, a protein that actually plays a role in fighting harmful bacteria, is overactive when asthma occurs and is the key driver of allergic inflammation, which causes it.

“Caspase-11 can cause cells to die, which is a very inflammatory event as the cells then release their contents, which can irritate tissues in our body. We have found that Caspase-11 is a key driver of inflammation in the airways in asthma. This causes the signs and symptoms of asthma which most notably involves difficulty breathing," Zaslona told

Asthma is getting very common and even though mild asthma can be treated with medicines such as inhalers, severe asthma is much difficult to treat and sometimes fatal.

The researchers found that airborne pollutants such as pollen and house dust mites cause cells in the lungs to die, which triggers Caspase-11 into action, causing inflammation in the lungs.

Caspase-11 has never been implicated in causing the disease. While currently only the phenomenon has been researched, it holds great promise for targeting the diseases. According to the researchers, if the protein can be targeted efficiently, it may help in curing the disease. Researchers believe the findings may help in developing drugs to combat the disease, which can work in this way.

Asthma Inhaler
A protein causing inflammation in the lungs may be the cause for asthma, according to a new study Pixabay/Coltsfan