Amanda Poholek, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Protein Holds Clue to Allergic Airway Inflammation
Allergic asthma is a chronic lung disease that occurs in response to allergens in the environment. Asthma is driven in part by inappropriate activation of T cells, an important component of the immune system. Transcription factors are proteins that alter T cell function to become inflammatory and drive disease. In an animal model of asthma, we found the presence of the transcription factor Blimp-1 in T cells drives allergic airway inflammation. We will identify the environmental factors that lead to the activation of Blimp-1 and investigate how Blimp-1 causes T cells to drive allergic asthma. We expect these studies to identify potential drug targets for specific therapies that would treat the causes of asthma, rather than symptoms.