Marni Crow from the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University presents her dissertation. The presentation will be followed by an informal discussion.
Abstract: A primary focus of our lab is to understand host cell defense against viral pathogens. One critical first line of defense is the innate immune response. The family of PYHIN proteins has recently emerged as being important for recognizing viral DNA following infection leading to the expression of antiviral cytokines. I will present our recent work on characterizing PYHIN protein functions. At the core of these studies is the use of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to build the first protein interaction network for PYHIN proteins. Furthermore, I will show evidence that IFIX, a member of the PYHIN family, is able to sense pathogenic DNA and trigger an innate immune program suggesting the identity of a novel DNA sensor. Altogether, our data provides critical insight into these important regulators of immune response.