The San Antonio Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center (SA-AADCRC) represents a tightly focused, integrative and innovative effort to understand the role of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and its unique ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating toxin, designated Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome ToXin (CARDS TX) as important mediators of acute and chronic airway diseases, including new onset asthma and exacerbations, as well as persistent pulmonary dysfunction in children and adults. The basic science and clinical investigators who comprise the SA-AADCRC team share broad expertise and are highly collaborative. The SA-AADCRC's broad strategy of attack interlinks basic science and clinical research projects and cores. Project 1 uses the murine model and human materials to address fundamental questions on how CARDS TX induces asthma-like disease and exacerbates allergic pulmonary inflammation. Project 2 focuses on identifying CARDS TX ADP-ribosylating airway protein targets, delineating functionally important CARDS TX domains and essential amino acids that mediate CARDS TX binding to human surfactant protein A (SP-A) and airway cells, and generating antibody reagents that block/neutralize CARDS TX. Project 3 applies state-of-the-art biophysical techniques to uncover the structure and action of CARDS TX by using single crystal X-ray diffraction to determine CARDS TX three dimensional structure in the presence and absence of its cofactor NAD;neutralizing monoclonal antibody Fab fragments;and surfactant protein-A (SP-A). Clinical Core will collect human material from subjects with well controlled asthma, poorly controlled asthma and healthy controls and help in evaluation and follow-up of patient-related studies. Diagnostic Core will process clinical and experimental samples for diagnostic analysis by providing highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assays for rapid detection of M. pneumoniae CARDS TX. Pathology Core will provide necessary biopsy and necropsy procedures, lung pathology interpretation, histochemical and immunocytochemical evaluations, and qualitative and semiquantitative histopathologicai analyses. Administrative Core will oversee all SA-AADCRC-related activities and coordinate interactions and collaborations between projects and cores. Therefore, the SA-AADCRC represents a network of collaborators/colleagues who continuously ask fundamental and translational questions about asthma, airway-related pathologies, immunopathogenesis, and M. pneumoniae/CARDS TX biology and virulence mechanisms.

Public Health Relevance

The SA-AADCRC is committed to clarifying how Mycoplasma pneumoniae and its unique ADP ribosylating and vacuolating toxin, designated Community Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome ToXin (CARDS TX) causes asthma and allergic diseases and to providing rational strategies that lead to the development of new and novel diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of pulmonary diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Dong, Gang
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University of Texas Health Science Center
Schools of Medicine
San Antonio
United States
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