The research in the Mei Wu laboratory falls into four general categories:
- Cell signaling
We investigate how heterotrimetric G-proteins direct lymphocyte trafficking in vivo using transgenic and gene-knockout mice in combination with intravital imaging system and in vivo flow cytometry in cooperation with the laboratory of Dr. Charles Lin. In addition, IEX-1 targets IF1 for degradation in mitochondria and lack of Gαi2 impairs TGF-b signaling in T cells. The underlying molecular cascades are being explored by various contemporary molecular and signaling technologies.
- Auto-immune disease
We are studying the molecular basis of colitis development using IEX-1- and Gαi2-knockout mice. The two strains of mice display an opposite response to colitis induction.
- T- cell homeostasis
An imbalance in the differentiation and death of T- cell subsets would cause autoimmune diseases or immune deficiency. This balance is regulated, at least in part, by IEX-1 induction that favors the survival of one T cell subset over the other.
- Cellular stress
IEX-1 is a stress-inducible gene. Its expression leads to IF1 degradation, an increase in cellular ATP levels and a decrease in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in favor of cell survival.