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Title: The function of innate immune genes in Crohn's disease
Author: Baker, John Summers
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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Crohn's Disease (CD) is a debilitating condition characterised by chronic intermittent intestinal inflammation. More than 90 genetic polymorphisms are associated with CD susceptibility, including several in genes of the innate immune system. Here I present a series of experiments designed to enhance our knowledge of the roles of CD-associated polymorphisms in pathogenesis. Many therapeutic regimens are employed in CD treatment, but patients' responses to treatment and disease progression vary widely. There is great interest in studying whether analysis of patients' genotype at CD-associated polymorphisms can be used to predict their disease course, and guide clinical decision-making. To answer these questions, it is essential to be able routinely and cost- effectively to genotype patients at the full range of known CD-associated polymorphisms. The first project presented here describes the design and initial successful testing of a CD-specific genotyping microarray for use in genotype-phenotype studies. The polymorphism most strongly associated with CD susceptibility is in the pattern recognition receptor NOD2; the remaining experiments presented here study the function of NOD2 in primary human monocyte-derived Dendritic Cells (DCs). First, a microarray study is presented which characterises global transcriptional responses to NOD2 stimulation in DCs. NOD2 stimulation is shown to enhance transcriptional changes induced by Toll-Like Receptor 2 stimulation, and NOD2-mediated transcriptional regulation is shown to be lost in DCs expressing CD-associated NOD2 variants. Second, experiments are presented which describe development of a new protocol for proteomic analysis of post-translational protein modifications, and which identify a number of novel candidate targets of NOD2 signalling in DCs. Finally, a project is presented which demonstrates for the first time that NOD2 stimulation induces autophagy in DCs, in an NF-kB and RIPK2-dependent pathway. CD-associated polymorphisms in NOD2 and ATG 16Ll abolish NOD2-mediated autophagy induction, resulting in impaired bacterial handling and antigen presentation.
Supervisor: Simmons, Alison Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Crohn's disease ; Crohn's disease--Genetic aspects ; Natural immunity ; Inflammatory bowel diseases