Regulation of Autoimmune T cell Activation by MicroRNA
miRNA are small RNA molecules important in controlling gene expression. The role of the miRNA in regulating the immune response is recognized. Cbl-b is a protein that is central in the regulation of T cell activation. It is important in preventing the activation of autoreactive T cells, which will recognize and destroy self tissues. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which nerves are destroyed. Previous data revealed that T cells from MS patients have a higher expression of messenger RNA for cbl-b but a lower protein protein expression, suggesting a role for miRNA in regulating the cbl-b protein. Using quantitative PCR (QPCR), we will investigate the expression of miRNA molecules implicated in the regulation of cbl-b protein expression in MS patients and healthy controls. Identifying miRNA important in the regulation of cbl-b could lead to targeted therapeutics for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune disease.