The laboratory focuses on two areas. The first concerns the properties and function of IA-2 and IA-2 which are major autoantigens in type 1 diabetes and transmembrane proteins of dense core secretory vesicles. These proteins are present in most of the neuroendocrine cells in the body. Knockout and knock down technology has shown that these proteins affect the secretion of hormones (e.g., insulin) and neurotransmitters. Current studies are concerned with the effect of IA-2 and IA-2beta on the secretion of these hormones and neurotransmitters and how they affect a variety of physiologic processes. In addition, the role of micro RNA's in the expressionof the genes encoding these proteins is being examined. The second area concerns polyreactive antibodies. Hybridoma technology has shown that many antibody molecules are polyreactive that is, they can bind to a variety of different and structurally unrelated self and non-self foreign antigens. These antibodies generally have low binding affinity and are encoded by germ-line or near germ-line sequences. Further studies revealed that much of the natural antibody repertoire is made up of polyreactive antibody. The function of the natural antibody repertoire has remained an enigma. Current studies are focusing on the role of polyreactive antibodies in: defense against foreign organisms (i.e., bacteria/viruses);the clearance of damaged proteins and cells (apoptosis)and the possible role of these antibodies in the induction and/or maintenance of immunological tolerance. The cells that make polyreactive antibodies also are under investigation.

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National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research
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Carmona, G N; Nishimura, T; Schindler, C W et al. (2014) The dense core vesicle protein IA-2, but not IA-2?, is required for active avoidance learning. Neuroscience 269:35-42
Kim, Soo Mi; Power, Andrea; Brown, Timothy M et al. (2009) Deletion of the secretory vesicle proteins IA-2 and IA-2beta disrupts circadian rhythms of cardiovascular and physical activity. FASEB J 23:3226-32
Nishimura, T; Kubosaki, A; Ito, Y et al. (2009) Disturbances in the secretion of neurotransmitters in IA-2/IA-2beta null mice: changes in behavior, learning and lifespan. Neuroscience 159:427-37
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