Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cancer Research
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Rhythm Williams - Lawson State Community College
Co-Author(s): Hairong Wei, Wei Yang, Etty N. Benveniste and Hongwei Qin; Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
B-cells are key regulators in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases as antibody secreting cells, antigen-presenting cells and cytokine producing cells. The function of B cells in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have received increasing attention as the success of clinical trials of B-cell depleting therapies and the presence of oligoclonal bands (OCBs) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Protein Kinase CK2 is overexpressed and overactive in B-cell leukemia and B-cell lymphomas, leading to inappropriate activation of NF-kB, JAK/STAT and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. However, little is known about the function of CK2 in B-cell development and differentiation, and specifically, in the pathogenesis of MS and its animal model, Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE). I hypothesize that CK2 kinase activity in B-cells affects B-cell inflammatory responses during EAE disease progression. Our results indicate CK2 mRNA and protein expression is induced upon B-cell activation. We generated CK2afl/flCD19CreTg/+ (CD19-CK2aKO) mice, which have CK2a deletion at the earliest stages and throughout B-cell development. We confirmed the deletion efficiency using B-cells isolated from WT and CD19-CK2aKO mice. Furthermore, our studies demonstrate that CK2a specific deletion in B-cells results in exacerbated EAE disease severity. Our studies elucidate the critical function of CK2a in B-cell activation, which are important in regulating immune responses in autoimmune diseases such as MS and EAE.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Hairong Wei, Wei Yang, Etty N. Benveniste and Hongwei Qin; Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Shawanda Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I conducted the experiments for Western Blotting, the results for genotyping, and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). I confirmed the specific gene target knockout at all 3 levels. I also extracted RNA to get the data for the quantitative real time PCR.