Keywords: Inflammation, oxidative-stress, signal transduction, gene discovery, functional genomics and proteomics, gene regulation, molecular immunology, cancer research and neuro-inflammation.
Dr. Ting’s laboratory has broad interest in the application of cutting edge ideas and technology to the study of disease-relevant issues. Major directions include innate immunity, dendritic cell function, cell death, autophagy, signal transduction, gene discovery, functional genomics and proteomics, nanoparticles, gene regulation, neuro-inflammation and microglial cells. Clinical issues of interest include multiple sclerosis, cancer, autoimmune diseases, biologic therapy, infection and inflammation.
Immune gene transcription
Dr. Ting has studied the transcriptional master regulator of class II Major Histocompatibility (MHC) genes called CIITA (class II transactivator) for over a decade. CIITA is extremely important as patients with defects in the gene exhibit severe immunodeficiency.. CIITA promotes the recruitment of DNA-binding protein, transcription cofactors, and histone acetylases/methylases to the class II MHC promoters. More recently, her lab has found that another protein, NLRC5, which has a similar domain structure as CIITA can broadly regulate class I MHC in mice by modifying chromatin structure. Thus NLRC5 and CIITA are master regulators of class I and II MHC, which play central roles in adaptive immune activation.
NLRs: The NBD-LRR proteins regulate inflammatory cytokines, signaling and cell death
Based on the structure of CIITA, Dr. Ting found a large family of genes that encode similar structural motifs as CIITA. This was initially termed the CATERPILLER gene family, and now have been renamed NLRs. NLRs are important for immune defense against bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and damage-associated molecules. Mutations in NLRs are the primary genetic causes of several immunologic disorders. Beyond inflammation and infection, her group showed a strong effect of NLRs on cancer and metabolic diseases. RNA interference, gene ablation, genomics, yeast two-hybrid, biochemical and proteomics analyses are performed to understand the functions of these novel genes.
The Detrimental and Beneficial Roles of CNS Inflammation in Disease Progression and Resolution
Inflammation occurs in a number of neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and multiple sclerosis (MS). Using mice with mutations in inflammatory genes, Dr. Ting found that many of these genes, such as NLRs and cytokines, are not only crucial in disease progression (demyelination), but also in disease resolution (remyelination).
The role of immune plexins and semaphorins
Dr. Ting’s work in the plexin and semaphorin family originated because her lab found that CIITA also regulate plexin-A1 gene expression. Plexin-A1 is typically thought to be important for neuronal interaction and retraction. Her new finding presents a new framework to think about how immune cells attract and repulse each other. Her lab found that plexin-A1 and it ligand, Semaphorin 6D, are important for T cell activation. Additionally, they showed that Plexin-A4 and Semaphorin 3A interaction is important in sepsis, Plexin-D1 plays an important role in B cell activation, and Plexin-B2 influences cell movement. Thus this family has broad immune functions.
Transcriptosome profiling, mass spectroscopy and proteome analysis, gene-ablation in mice and RNA interference, various models for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
- Bias 101
- REI Groundwater Training
Kathrine Barnett Ph.D.
June Brickey, Ph.D.
Weichun (Emily) Chou, Ph.D.
Haitao Guo, Ph.D.
Hao Guo, Ph.D.
Sirui (CiCi) Li, Ph.D.
Xin Li, Ph.D.
Kaixin (Kathy) Liang – Graduate student
Adam Sandor, Ph.D.
Megan Schmidt, Ph.D.
Dingka Song, Ph.D.
Michael Thompson, MS
Elizabeth Guthrie, Ph.D.
Rebekah Watkins-Schulz, Graduate student- defends in March
Jenny Ting in UNC Genetics News
September 16, 2021
Ting awarded R56 from NIAID to study role of inflammasomes in COVID-19 infection
Jenny Ting, PhD (Distinguished Professor, Department of Genetics, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, LCCC) was awarded a R56 grant titled “Role and Mitigation of Inflammasomes and Inflammation During COVID-19” from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
June 28, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for June 13-26, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published twenty one papers during June 13-26, 2021.
June 24, 2021
Ting Earns 2021 ICIS-Pfizer Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research
Jenny Ting, PhD, has been chosen as the 2021 ICIS-Pfizer Award winner in recognition of her outstanding discoveries in the fields of immunology, molecular biology, genomics, and microbiology, and especially for her observations regarding the control of immunity which impact a wide variety of diseases.
June 14, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for May 30 – June 12, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published seventeen papers during May 30 – June 12, 2021.
May 29, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for May 16-29, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published nineteen papers during May 16-29, 2021.
April 19, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for April 4-17, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published fifteen papers during April 4-17, 2021. Targeting Chikungunya Virus Replication by Benzoannulene Inhibitors. Ahmed SK, Haese NN, Cowan JT, Pathak V, Moukha-Chafiq O, Smith VJ, Rodzinak KJ, Ahmad F, Zhang S, Bonin KM, Streblow AD, Streblow CE, Kreklywich CN, Morrison C, Sarkar S, Moorman N, …
April 5, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for March 21-April 3, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published fifteen papers during March 21-April 3, 2021.
April 1, 2021
Diabetes Drug May Be A New Weapon Against HIV
Research from the UNC School of Medicine lab of Jenny Ting, PhD, shows that the widely used drug metformin reduces metabolism of infected T cells to suppress HIV replication.
February 8, 2021
Department of Genetics Publications for Jan. 24 – Feb. 6, 2021
Department of Genetics faculty, postdocs, students and collaborators published twenty papers during Jan. 24 – Feb. 6, 2021.
January 28, 2021
Scientists Find Key Function of Molecule in Cells Crucial for Regulating Immunity
UNC School of Medicine and UNC Lineberger scientists co-led by Jenny Ting, PhD, and Yisong Wan, PhD, uncovered a new molecular pathway important for the regulation of the adaptive immune system and the mitigation of autoimmune disease.