Science on Tap: "Role of long noncoding RNAs in COPD"

Feb 26 @ 7:00pm



"Role of long noncoding RNAs in COPD"
Elektra Robinson and Mays Mohammed Salih - Graduate Students in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, UCSC

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating inflammatory lung disease associated with tobacco smoking and the third leading cause of death worldwide. The pathogenesis of COPD remains poorly understood but involves abnormal inflammatory responses of lung macrophages (Mφs) to cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Little is known about what drives the chronic inflammation observed in COPD patients and why smokers display persistent inflammation within their airways for many years, even after smoking cessation. In addition, current treatments fail to inhibit dysregulated Mφ inflammatory processes activated by CS. Thus, there is a clear unmet need for new investigative avenues to identify novel regulators/drivers of smoke-induced inflammation. Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of biological processes, including development and immunity. We seek to identify (lncRNAs) that are involved in regulating innate immune responses of macrophages (Mφs) to cigarette smoke (CS), and how this impacts the debilitating lung disease, (COPD). This work will provide insights into how innate immunity is regulated by CS, shed light on the pathogenesis of COPD, and potentially point to novel ways to treat this disease.