Heather Pua Lab
Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are important in cellular function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Recently it has been found that miRNAs not only function within the cell that expresses them, but as secreted products that influence neighboring cells. My project is to determine the target and function of these extracellular miRNAs in the lung during allergic inflammation. My hypothesize is that ex-miRNAs are used in communicating to immune cells in the lung to tune the immune response. As a starting point, I will be using both in vitro and in vivo assays to detect the transfer of ex-miRNAs to immune cells that lack endogenous miRNA expression.