Dr. Rodney E. Kellems
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Regulating gene expression during mammalian development
We are interested in identifying the genetic circuitry and signaling pathways that control specific aspects of mammalian development and physiology. Using the mouse as a highly relevant and experimentally convenient model system we currently conduct research in the following three areas:
Molecular Biology of Trophoblasts: A major cell type controlling the development of the placenta is the tro-phoblast. These cells originate from the trophectoderm and are the first cell lineage established during mammalian development. Our research is focused on understanding how specific genes are selectively activated during placental development.
Lymphocyte Development and Function: We have created adenosine deaminase deficient mice that have a severe combined immunodeficiency. We are working to determine the molecular basis for impaired lymphocyte development. We are also using these enzyme deficient mice to test the efficacy of enzyme therapy and gene therapy in the treatment of this condition.
Cardiac Energy Metabolism: To meet its enormous energy requirements the heart has specially modified enzymes that function in specific cardiac energy metabolic pathways. Our research focuses on understanding how these pathways are controlled by energy demand and oxygen supply.
All of our research activities rely heavily on the use of transgenic mouse technologies. Please consult our recent publications for more details concerning the current status of these and other ongoing projects.
Xu PA, Kellems RE (2000) Function of murine adenosine deaminase in the gastrointestinal tract. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 269:749-57.
Blackburn MR, Volmer JB, Thrasher JL, Zhong H, Crosby JR, Lee JJ, Kellems RE (2000) Metabolic consequences of adenosine daemons deficiency in mice are associated with defects in alveogenesis, pulmonary inflammation, and airway obstruction. J Exp Med 192:159-70.
Aldrich MB, Blackburn MR, Kellems RE (2000) The importance of adenosine deaminase for lymphocyte development and function. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 272:311-5.
Blackburn MR, Aldrich M, Volmer JB, Chen W, Zhong H, Kelly S, Hershfield MS, Datta SK, Kellems RE (2000) The use of enzyme therapy to regulate the metabolic and phenotypic consequences of adenosine deaminase deficiency in mice: Differential impact on pulmonary and immunologic abnormalities. J Biol Chem 275:32114-32121.
Thompson LF, Van De Wiele CJ, Laurent AB, Hooker SW, Vaughn JG, Jiang H, Khare K, Kellems RE, Blackburn MR, Hershfield MS, Resta R (2000) Metabolites from apoptotic thymocytes inhibit thymopoiesis in adenosine deaminase-deficient fetal thymic organ cultures J Clin Invest 106:1149-57.