Characterisation of the biochemical and physiological function of CARMA2 in the context of psoriasis

01 October 2013 → 31 January 2020
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Molecular and cell biology not elsewhere classified
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Dermatology
    • Gastro-enterology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biological control
    • Other biotechnology, bio-engineering and biosystem engineering not elsewhere classified
Psoriasis physiological function CARMA2 biochemical function
Project description

Psoriasis is an auto-inflammatory disease that affects skin and other organs and leads to impaired quality of life. Approximately 2 to 3% of the worldwide population suffers from this debilitating condition, the origins and causes of which are currently poorly understood. Recently, a gene called CARMA2 has been identified as a psoriasis susceptibility gene. Little is known about the biochemical function and physiological role of the CARMA2 protein; however, another member of the CARMA family, CARMA1 and its role in the antigen receptor signalling in T and B cells is well described. The proteins of the CARMA family show a high degree of homology but a differential expression pattern in various tissues, suggesting that these proteins may participate in similar signalling cascades in different cell types. The research group of Professor Beyaert has preliminary data suggesting that the protease MALT1, a CARMA1-binding molecule and therapeutic target in lymphocytes, interacts with CARMA2 in keratinocytes, which points to the existence of a similar signalling complex. The aim of this project is to further unravel the CARMA2-mediated signalling cascade and to characterize the role of a gain-of-function CARMA2 variant in the pathogenesis of psoriasis by creating a transgenic mouse model. Eventually, this should allow us to investigate the potential of therapeutic targeting of the CARMA2/MALT1 pathway in the treatment of psoriasis.