Kanaoka/Barrett Lab Research Focus

Our research focuses on the role of cysteinyl leukotrienes and their receptors in immune and inflammatory responses. Generation and characterization of mice null for LTC4 synthase, CysLT1 receptor, and CysLT2 receptor in various models of innate and adaptive immunity have revealed that cysteinyl leukotrienes are critical mediators for allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation and bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. 

Our ongoing projects are:

  • Mechanism of cysteinyl leukotriene generation by dendritic cells in allergen-induced pulmonary inflammation
  • Mechanism of cysteinyl leukotriene-mediated pulmonary fibrosis
  • Characterization of a G protein-coupled receptor modulating CysLT receptor functions
  • Structural and biochemical studies on human LTC4 synthase (collaboration with the Schmidt-Krey Lab, Georgia Tech, and the Miyano Lab, RIKEN, Japan)

We are also interested in the function of prostaglandin (PG) D2, another proinflammatory eicosanoid generated by myeloid cells. Hematopoietic PGD2 synthase, a cytosolic protein, is responsible for PGD2 biosynthesis in immune system. PGD2 relaxes vascular smooth muscle, constricts bronchial smooth muscle, and attracts eosinophils, basophils, and T helper type 2 cells. Characterization of mice null for PGD2 synthase, DP1 receptor, and DP2 receptor (CRTH2) in various models of innate and adaptive immunity is also ongoing.