Professor Catherine Day
University of Otago, Dunedin
Integration of inflammatory signalling by TNF receptor associated factors
36 months

Lay summary

Initiation and resolution of inflammation is essential for cellular homeostasis, and aberrations are associated with a range of diseases. Regulation of inflammation relies on signals transmitted from receptors on the surface of cells to the nucleus. Often, several cell surface receptors act in combination to elicit a particular inflammatory response. TNF receptor associated factors (TRAFs) are a key family of proteins that recognise many different activated receptors, and translate their signals into an appropriate response. Improper TRAF signalling is implicated in cancer, chronic inflammatory disorders and immune deficiency. The proposed project will investigate precisely how TRAF proteins function in combination with each other to reliably integrate inflammatory signals. This work will provide fundamental knowledge about the mechanisms of inflammatory signalling, identify possible molecular targets for cancer and chronic inflammation, and explain how existing therapies that target immune receptors control downstream signalling pathways might be used for maximum benefit.

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