Identifying novel red blood cell targets as a basis for development of biopharmaceuticals for treatment of infectious diseases

Using N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutagenesis, ARCBS has identified a unique murine pedigree with a splice-site mutation in a functionally important domain of a gene encoding an acetyltransferase. Red Blood Cells (RBC) from homozygous mutants from this pedigree demonstrate significant modifications of carbohydrates and lack the erythroid lineage marker TER-119. We plan to investigate the extent to which these changes modify the susceptibility to infection for pathogens that target developing and mature cells of the erythroid lineage. We will compare RBC from homozygous and wild type (WT) mice to characterise the RBC surface and identify novel RBC targets to be used as a basis for the development of biopharmaceuticals for treatment of diseases where infectivity is mediated through RBC receptors (e.g. Malaria, Parvovirus (B19)).

Lead investigator Prof Stephen Mahler
Associate investigator Prof Kirill Alexandrov
Associate investigator Prof Paul Young
Associate investigator A/Prof Linda Lua
Postdoc Dr Xuan Bui
PhD Student Sandra Sowah
Industry Partner ARCBS; PIs, Dean, Flower and Irving (ARCBS)