Chaos and Function appear to be polar opposites of one another. The definition of chaos is complete disorder and confusion, while function translates to an activity or purpose natural to or intended for a person or thing. However, chaos and function have been found to be key players in relation to the immune system.
According to a recent study from the Nature Communications journal, cellular function depends on a newly discovered mechanism. As it turns out, this mechanism happens to be chaos! Two researchers at the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute investigated a particular protein produced within cells. Cell signaling pathways made up of this protein concentration create mayhem within the immune system. The growth, survival, and proliferation of the cells are controlled by these specialized pathways called Nuclear factor-kB. This chaotic state is responsible for alerting the body to keep it functionally balanced for the prevention of chronic disease.
NF-kB is also responsible for stimulating genes. Fluctuations in the concentration of these cell signaling pathways alter the genes, therein, also impacting the condition of cells. This chaotic dynamic can increase the activation of genes that would not ordinarily be affected. Consequently, the NF-kB protein is highly effective at triggering genes for the optimization of the immune system.
Hyperactive signaling proteins are a sign of imbalance. When these protein pathways are not functioning properly, the growth and proliferation of cells can create problems within the body. The key to preventing and overcoming challenges is understanding this precarious relationship between chaos and function. While there is still much to be uncovered, this promising development could entirely change the way chronic disease is managed and ultimately lead to healing.
Heltberg, M., Krishna, S., & Jensen, M. (2019) Article number: 71, Volume 10, Nature Communications