Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Oregon Health and Science University

Airway Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Differentiation During Lung Repair

Principal Investigators

Jeffrey A. Whitsett, MD (Contact PI)
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Philip Streeter, PhD
Oregon Health and Science University

Research Description

This proposal seeks to establish a participating Center working closely with other national “Consortium” members. Dr. Jeffrey Whitsett at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Dr. Philip Streeter at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), who have established collaborations for the study of lung biology, will lead the proposed initiative. The Center provides four specific aims, all focused to transcriptional mechanisms controlling proliferation and differentiation of Airway Epithelial Cell (AEC) progenitors. The aims will also generate and provide new antibodies, gene expression data and transgenic models of broad application to the field of Pulmonary Biology and Medicine. The aims will (1) elucidate the role of a novel transcriptional network controlling AEC progenitors and their differentiation in conducting airways, with focus to the role of a PAX9-centered transcriptional network in the regulation of basal cell proliferation and differentiation; (2) produce, characterize and use monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies for the identification and purification of human and mouse AECs for study of lung repair and disease; (3) define gene expression patterns and transcriptional regulators critical for AEC homeostasis with focus to PAX9 and associated factors, which will create and standardize expression and transcriptional databases for human and mouse AECs and iPS cells induced to specific airway cell lineages; and (4) will produce novel transgenic mice for the conditional deletion and addition of genes in conducting AECs, including those related to the study of PAX9. Preliminary data accompanying this application were produced via close collaborations and interactions between members of laboratories in multiple divisions at CCHMC in the fields of Pulmonary Biology, Developmental Biology, Hematology/Oncology, and Bioinformatics, as well as those at OHSU and the Oregon Stem Cell Center. The investigators have long-standing commitments and success related to the building and sharing of useful technologies and reagents and have been long committed to training others to advance the field of pulmonary biology and medicine.

This initiative seeks to provide (1) novel insights into the molecular and cellular control of AEC progenitors and their differentiation and (2) novel reagents, tools and procedures enabling scientific advancements of value to the field of pulmonary medicine.