Alarcón-Riquelme, Marta E., MD, PhD
November 1, 2014
BANK1 is the scientific nickname of “B-cell scaffold protein with ankyrin repeats.” BANK1 is a molecule that helps certain other molecules function correctly inside the cell. Dr. Alarcon- Riquelme is studying how BANK1 impacts signaling pathways important in B cell activation. She has previously found that
in the absence of BANK1 there is a deficit by B cells of a type
of signaling that helps initiate production of interleukin 6 (IL-6). IL-6 itself is well known to perform multiple roles in inducing inflammation. She will use specially engineered mice to study whether over expression of BANK1 promotes the development of lupus. In addition, she will study the effect of a specific BANK1 mutation she recently identified on signaling involved in the immune system and whether this atypical form of BANK1 is associated with increased risk of lupus. Also,
she will engineer a new mouse model of lupus and use it to determine whether human mutations of BANK1 introduced
in the mouse alter the production of IL-6. Finally, she will study whether an inhibitor called Pateamine is capable of suppressing production of IL-6 and delay lupus progression in mice prone to develop the disease.
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