The role of G protein regulated TGFβ generation in airway smooth muscle cells in Asthma
Asthma affects 1 in every 11 people and is characterised by airway inflammation, episodic tightening of the chest, and structural changes in the airways, which reduces lung function over time.
Severe asthma is observed in 10% of asthma patients and these patients do not respond to currently available asthma drugs. TGFβ is a protein thought to cause structural changes in the airways of asthma patients. Interestingly, TGFβ can be activated when airways contract, which may explain why patients with severe, uncontrolled disease have worse structural changes.
This project aims to investigate the cellular pathways that regulate contraction in the smooth muscle cells which line the airway, in particular the role of proteins called G proteins. This could potentially open up new clinical opportunities that prevent structural changes in asthmatic lungs and help improve lung function in asthmatic patients.
Researcher: Robert Middlewick