Chitinase-like proteins: host protection through molecular multi-tasking


  • Prof Judith Allen

    University of Edinburgh

Project summary

Helminth infection results in a host-protective type 2 immune response that is important for both parasite control and tissue repair. Chitinase-like proteins (CLPs) are induced during type 2 immunity, and are strongly associated with helminth infection, tissue injury and a variety of chronic diseases. CLPs unexpectedly induce the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-17, leading to a response that limits parasite numbers but at a cost of enhanced tissue injury. As infection progresses, CLPs contribute both to the induction of a protective type 2 immune response and to repair of the damaged tissue. Professor Allen will use a tissue-migrating helminth model to investigate how CLPs perform such diverse tasks and reveal why they are so strongly associated with numerous pathological conditions. More fundamentally, the studies will provide key insight into how IL-17 pushes the type 2 response into a more pathological state, which will be relevant to a range of chronic conditions.