On 2 October at 14:15 Egon Urgard will defend his doctoral thesis "Potential therapeutic approaches for modulation of inflammatory response pathways"
Supervisors: professor Ana Rebane (UT), research professor Margus Pooga (UT), senior researcher Tarmo Annilo (UT) ja senior specialist Anu Reigo (UT)
Opponent: professor Jörg Stülke (Dr. habil./PD), Georg-August-University Göttingen (Germany)
All living organisms are in constant contact with external and internal risk factors. The epithelial tissues that cover the body and internal organs, such as skin and bronchial epithelial cells are the first protective barriers against various environmental factors and pathogens. When risk factors emerge, the body triggers a complex inflammatory response to eliminate the danger and restore homeostasis. If the body is unable to clear inflammation, greater damage or chronic inflammation may take place. Persistent exposure to risk factors increases the risk of chronic inflammation, which increases the risk for tumorigenesis. In this thesis, we show that the human gene Basonuclin 2 plays an important role in epithelial tissues by regulating the interferon signaling pathway associated genes, which are crucial in cell apoptosis and protection from intracellular pathogens. We also show that the selected cell-penetrating peptides are suitable for transporting miRNA mimics into various cell types and inflamed tissue to target cancer-associated or pro-inflammatory genes. In summary, the results of the current thesis complement our knowledge on cellular mechanisms important for the regulation of inflammatory and cancerous processes and provide information possibly suitable for development of miRNA-based therapies to target inflammation or cancerous processes in future.