Jin Billy Li, PhD
Department of Genetics
April 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
presents, “RNA Editing and Innate Immunity”
Hosted by: Dr. Rob Mitra
Seminar abstract: To avoid aberrant innate immunity, endogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) must be edited by ADAR1, suppressing cytosolic MDA5-mediated dsRNA sensing. Mice without RNA editing by ADAR1 are embryonic lethal, but live to full life span upon MDA5 removal. In humans, ADAR1 loss-of-function and MDA5 gain-of-function mutations lead to rare autoimmune diseases. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work to uncover the key dsRNA substrates whose editing is critical to evade MDA5 activation. In addition, through human genetics studies, we reveal that RNA editing plays a primary role in common autoimmune and immune-related diseases.
Brief biography: Dr. Li’s laboratory studies RNA editing mediated by ADAR enzymes. His lab, along with others, has discovered the ADAR1-dsRNA-MDA5 axis, revealing the critical role of ADAR1 to edit cellular dsRNAs to evade the MDA5-mediated dsRNA sensing and the subsequent innate immune response. This has led to therapeutic applications, ranging from cancer to immune-mediated diseases. In addition, his lab is interested in developing therapeutic RNA base editing technology by harnessing endogenous ADAR enzymes, which overcomes challenges encountered by CRISPR/Cas-mediated DNA editing.