Molecular regulation of gene expression in the colonic epithelium
Intestinal epithelial cells respond to inflammatory stimulation in several ways. First, intestinal epithelial cells can produce immune modulating substances such as cytokines and immunoreceptors. Second, intestinal inflammation leads to an alteration in the patterns of cell differentiation along the crypt-villus axis. Finally, chronic inflammatory diseases of intestinal tract lead to a markedly increased risk for the neoplastic transformation of the colonic epithelium. Using various intestinal cell culture systems and transgenic animal models, we are exploring the molecular mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in the colonic epithelium. Target genes which are being studied in this regard include the proinflammatory cytokine, IL-8, the chloride/sulfate anion transporter, DRA, the nuclear hormone receptor, PPARgamma, and a novel gene expressed specifically in colonic crypt cells, RELM-beta.
Laetitia Charrier, PhD - Research Associate
Ying-Yu (Eddy) Chen - Research Specialist