Julie Ledford, PhD - an Assistant Professor in CMM - together with colleagues in the Department of Medicine and the Asthma and Airways Disease Research Center recently published their study entitled “Club Cell Secretory Protein Deficiency Leads to Altered Lung Function” in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. While Club Cell Secretory Protein 16 (CC16) has been described as a serum biomarker for obstructive lung diseases, a distinct mechanism of action for CC16 has remained elusive. This translational study used data from the birth cohort of the Tucson Children’s Respiratory Study (TCRS) and examined the relation of circulating CC16 levels with pulmonary function and responses to bronchial methacholine challenge from childhood up to age 32 years. In parallel, the study set out to comprehensively examine pulmonary physiology in mice sufficient or deficient in CC16. It was discovered in both mouse and man that deficits in CC16 significantly impaired lung function and increased sensitivity to methacholine. In addition, CC16 deficient mice had increased collagen deposition, smooth muscle thickness and elevated gene expression of factors associated with lung remodeling. Findings in mice support the clinical observations that decreased CC16 levels in serum correlate with worse lung function by providing the first line of direct evidence that lack of CC16 in the lung results in dramatically altered pulmonary function and structural alterations consistent with enhanced remodeling. PMID: 30543455
Donata Vercelli, MD, Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the UA College of Medicine and Associate Director of the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, has been elected the first female secretary general of the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum.
Founded in 1954, the Collegium is a group of distinguished international physicians and scientists who study the emerging field of allergy and clinical immunology. Dr. Vercelli has been a member of the Collegium for more than 25 years. As the organization’s new secretary general, she eventually will advance to the position of president after serving as the organization’s Vice President. Dr. Vercelli officially was inducted into her leadership position in early October at the Collegium’s 32nd symposium in Mallorca, Spain.
Balazs Kiss, PhD – a CMM postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Henk Granzier's lab - and colleagures recently published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) about the role of nebulin, a giant sarcomeric, actin-binding protein found in skeletal muscle. Using X-ray diffraction, it was found that thin filaments are threefold more extensible in nebulin-knockout living muscle. Kiss and colleagues conclude that loss of nebulin's physiological function impairs other thin filament regulatory proteins and interferes with force generation - therefore, nebulin acts to stiffen thin filaments and is responsible for generating physiological levels of force. PMID: 30249654
Sara Parker, PhD – a CMM postdoctoral scholar in Dr. Gus Mouneimne’s lab - together with colleagues in the departments of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, an Immunobiology have recently published a new study in the journal eNeuro entitled “High Fidelity Cryopreservation and Recovery of Primary Rodent Cortical Neurons". Cryopreservation is the process of freezing biological materials, and is used routinely for the storage of cell lines. Certain cells, however, are extremely sensitive to cryostorage, and cannot be frozen such as primary neurons isolated from mouse or rat embryos, which show extremely poor viability when subjected to standard cryopreservation methodologies. Dr. Parker and colleagues, experimenting with a specialty cryopreservation reagent designed for clinical-grade storage of human stem and primary cells, found that this reagent substantially improved the viability of cryopreserved neurons, yielding cells that were indistinguishable from freshly dissected neurons. This experimental tool not only improves efficiency and maximizes utilization of animal-sourced materials, it also facilitates greater collaboration between laboratories. PMID: 30263951
Darren Cusanovich, PhD, led a study published in the most recent issue of Cell presenting a single-cell atlas of chromatin (how the genome is packaged in the nucleus of a cell) patterns in adult mice based on data from almost 100,000 individual cells. Their work sheds light on how the various cell types present in mammals are able to accomplish such different functions while referencing the same genome. This resource may ultimately help us to understand precisely how human diseases develop and manifest in complex tissues. PMID: 30078704
Marco Padilla-Rodriguez, PhD – a recent CMM graduate from Dr. Gus Mouneimne’s lab- and colleagues have recently published a new study in Nature Communications highlighting estrogen’s dual effects of promoting tumor growth in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, and suppressing tumor invasion through actin cytoskeletal remodeling. PMID: 30061623