Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

2012 Research Abstract

Searching for Genes for Host Defense

Investigator: Jeff SoRelle, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Mentor: Bruce Beutler, MD, Regntal Professor and Director, Center for Genetics of Host Defense, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

A forward genetic approach was employed to detect genes essential for the mammalian innate immune response. This forward genetic approach entailed chemically induced mutation, screening, and positional cloning of mutations. The chemical N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) produced point mutations randomly along a known genome (C57BL/6). Mouse peritoneal macrophages were stimulated with agonists of toll-like receptor (TLR) or inflammasome pathways to screen for mutated genes of the innate immune system. Upon identification of phenovariance, the transmissible mutation would be mapped by positional cloning and validated with exome sequencing.

This research continues to lead to a deeper understanding of how we combat infection. The continued study can lead to the development of mutations involved in both the innate and adaptive immune system so autoimmune diseases can also be studied. A long term goal is to identify genes that would render an individual resistant to infection and to study the interaction of these genes.

Updated on March 28, 2013.

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