Using microRNA Fit to a T (cell)

Researchers show B cells can deliver potentially therapeutic bits of modified RNA

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have successfully targeted T lymphocytes – which play a central role in the body’s immune response – with another type of white blood cell engineered to synthesize and deliver bits of non-coding RNA or microRNA (miRNA). … Read the full story from the UC San Diego News Center


Dr. Maurizio ZanettiPrincipal investigator Maurizio Zanetti, MD, is emeritus professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and director of the Laboratory of Immunology at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

Dr. Zanetti is the director of tumor immunology for the UCSD Center for Immunology, Infection and Inflammation. He directs the immunology course in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program.

Citation for the study report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

Gonzalo Almanza, Veronika Anufreichik, Jeffrey J. Rodvold, Kevin T. Chiu, Alexandra DeLaney, Johnny C. Akers, Clark C. Chen, and Maurizio Zanetti. Synthesis and delivery of short, noncoding RNA by B lymphocytes. PNAS 2013 ; published ahead of print November 25, 2013, doi:10.1073/pnas.1311145110  |  Abstract (Open access)  |  Full text (UCSD only)

Other UCSD news stories about Dr. Zanetti’s work:

UC San Diego Researchers Develop Efficient Model for Generating Human Stem Cells

Approach has potential to simplify generation of iPSCs for use in human stem cell therapies

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a simple, easily reproducible RNA-based method of generating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the August 1 edition of Cell Stem Cell. Their approach has broad applicability for the successful production of iPSCs for use in human stem cell studies and eventual cell therapies. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Four Department of Medicine researchers are coauthors of the study report in Cell Stem Cell:

Citation for the study report: Naohisa Yoshioka, Edwige Gros, Hai-Ri Li, Shantanu Kumar, Dekker C. Deacon, Cornelia Maron, Alysson R. Muotri, Neil C. Chi, Xiang-Dong Fu, Benjamin D. Yu, Steven F. Dowdy. Efficient Generation of Human iPSCs by a Synthetic Self-Replicative RNA. Cell Stem Cell – 1 August 2013 (Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 246-254)  |  Read the report

Discovery Provides Blueprint for New Drugs That Can Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus

Finding Could Pave Way for Drugs Against Virus That Kills More In US Than HIV

Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have produced the first high resolution structure of a molecule that when attached to the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus prevents it from reproducing . …. Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

Laboratory test tubes
David L. Wyles, MD, is a coauthor of the study report. He is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a researcher in the UC San Diego Antiviral Research Center.

Read the study report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Related story:
UC San Diego School of Medicine Launches Hepatitis C Clinical Trials

Roche Funds Drug Discovery Projects at UC San Diego

The new UC San Diego-Roche Extending Innovation Network (EIN) program has been launched with selection of its first three research projects at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. The UC San Diego-Roche EIN program, which was formalized in June 2011, aims to accelerate the discovery of new drug therapies through research innovation at the interface of industry and academia. The program is slated to grow in the coming years as additional rounds of proposals are solicited. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD
M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD (pictured above), is a co-investigator with Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, on one of the three UC San Diego-Roche EIN-funded projects, in which the investigators will use genomic and RNA-based approaches to identify new drug targets.

Dr. Rosenfeld is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and a professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Fu is Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and a member of the Institute for Genomic Medicine.

Plasticity of Hormonal Response Permits Rapid Gene Expression Reprogramming

Gene expression reprogramming may allow cancer cell growth as well as normal differentiation

Gene expression is the process of converting the genetic information encoded in DNA into a final gene product such as a protein or any of several types of RNA. Scientists have long thought that the gene programs regulated by different physiological processes throughout the body are robustly pre-determined and relatively fixed for every specialized cell. But a new study by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reveals the unsuspected plasticity of some of these gene expression programs. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom

M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD

Co-principal investigator of the study is Dr. M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld (pictured at left). M. Geoffrey Rosenfeld, MD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Department of Medicine coauthor Christopher K. Glass, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

Read the published study in Nature (free full text).