University of Pittsburgh
Suppressing Enzyme Involved in Asthma Activation
Dr. Zhao and team are trying to identify which cellular factor(s) are responsible for asthma. Based on their clinical database, they observed a higher level of an enzyme named 15LO1 in asthmatic patients compared to non-asthmatic people. Additional research found that another protein, PEBP1, could interact with 15LO1 to enhance its enzyme activity leading to the development of asthma. Dr. Zhao will culture human primary epi-thelial cells and modulate this enzyme activation by biomedical approaches to see whether this will change biological events representative of asthmatic symptoms. He believes that control of this enzyme could im-prove asthmatic symptoms and ultimately unveil a highly novel pathway in asthma, which could lead to new treatments.