T lymphocytes (T cells) are a subset of white blood cells and are essential for eradicating invading bacteria, virus, and tumor cells. However, T cells can also initiate and propagate many autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and lupus, if their function is not regulated properly. Better understanding of how the development and function of T cells is regulated can lead to novel treatments for many diseases. Preliminary data gathered at Dr. Ho's laboratory has suggested that a novel protein, namely itm2a, plays a critical role in regulating the development and function of T cells. In this project, Dr. Ho's team plans to study the impact of itm2a deficiency on T cells. Results generated from this project will establish itm2a as a rich therapeutic target in many clinical settings.
Targeting T cells is therapeutic in many clinical settings. The molecular mechanism regulating the development and function of T cells is a very complicate process and still not fully understood. Published and our preliminary data have strongly suggested that the integral membrane protein itm2a plays a critical role in regulating the development and function of T cells. However, the physiological function of itm2a is largely unknown. The immediate goal of this project is to characterize the phenotype of T cells and mice that are made deficient in itm2a. Data generated from this project may uncover a novel pathway regulating the development and function of T cells.
|Tai, Tzong-Shyuan; Pai, Sung-Yun; Ho, I-Cheng (2013) GATA-3 regulates the homeostasis and activation of CD8+ T cells. J Immunol 190:428-37|