Prevention and Treatment of Pulmonary Diseases – IP 1853

Chronicobstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) encompasses a spectrum of diseasesincluding chronic bronchitis (CB), reduced lung function, and emphysema and itsseverity is linked to chronic mucus hypersecretion (CMH). CMH is a globalhealthcare problem that is highly prevalent among people affected with allergicasthma, including over 24.6 million in the USA with conservative estimates ofannual healthcare costs exceeding 81.9 billion dollars. Respiratory epithelialcells of the conducting airways are a pivotal first line of defense againstairborne pathogens and allergens that orchestrate inflammatory responses andmucociliary clearance. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanisms responsible forepithelial hyperreactivity associated with allergic asthma, including theregulation and function of lncRNAs in airway epithelium, are not completelyunderstood. FIU inventorshave identified a novel molecular species referred to as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs)that are early innate sensors of cellular stress and are involved in theregulation of airway inflammation and hyperreactive mucous response. AC011511.2lncRNA comprises 3 exons and overlaps with intracellular adhesion molecule 1(ICAM-1) on the antisense strand and regulates ICAM-1 expression and istherefore, hereon referred to as LASI (LncRNA on AntisenseStrand to ICAM-1). Our researchers have designed and tested severalinhibitors that target the exon regions of LASI. One small interfering RNA targeting LASI successfully downregulatedits expression by more than 5-fold. Anne Laure Schmitt Olivier aschmitt@fiu.edu 305-348-5948

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