Immune Modulation by Microbial Metabolites
It is increasingly recognized that microbial metabolites are intimately involved in regulating physiology and pathobiology. Among many means that microbial metabolites could affect mammalian cells, we are currently focusing on their roles as agonist or antagonist of GPCRs, the biggest family of plasma membrane proteins that are well known for their metabolite sensing function, and that regulate a broad range of cell behaviors, such like migration, proliferation, and differentiation etc. Presumably, metabolites derived from gut microbiota, by activating/suppressing certain GPCR, can modulate local immune responses, as well as those in distance after entering systematic circulation.
We have been devoting ourselves to developing cutting-edge technologies for high-throughput measurement of GPCRs activities in different organs of mouse in the presence of absence of certain bugs; we will use the same high-throughput system for in vitro evaluation of GPCRs activity in the presence of fecal samples isolated from healthy people and patients (like AD, colitis, and cancer). We have experts in the lab on bacteria engineering, metabolite identification, immunology, CRISPR and mouse genetics. We hope these expertise and our endeavor would enable us to delineate molecular circuits governing immune/disease modulation by microbiota through metabolites-GPCRs interaction.