Changes in the Methylome in Immune-Mediated Disease
Welcome to the next CanCell seminar scheduled for Friday 23rd of November at 14:15 hrs.
Speaker: Esteban Ballestar, Group leader at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in Barcelona, Spain
Changes in the Methylome in Immune-Mediated Disease by Dr. Esteban Ballestar
Immune cells are extremely plastic as they terminally differentiate into a wide diversity of functional types, in the blood or tissues, in response to a variety of growth factors, cytokines and pathogenic molecules. For instance, myeloid cells express high levels of TET2 and DNMT3A, two key enzymes for the occurrence of DNA methylation changes in the absence of DNA replication. These activities are essential for the acquisition of functionally diverse phenotypes of terminally differentiated myeloid cells. In our group, we investigate how specific DNA methylation changes occur in response to a number of extracellular signals, and the participation of signaling pathways and downstream transcription factors. Some of these changes are relevant to the inflammatory microenvironment, where a variety of factors are released, and are directly responsible for the subverted behavior of these myeloid cells. We propose that some of the players implicated in these changes could be used as clinical markers and as potential targets for future pharmacological uses.