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Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (logo)

Role of collectins in chicken innate immunity

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Prof.dr Henk Haagsman and dr Edwin Veldhuizen

Chicken diseases and chicken immunity is gaining more interest from both researchers and the general public, mostly because of the avian flu that causes a serious threat to human. Knowledge on the chicken innate immune system and how chickens deal with influenza viruses is only slowly emerging. Our lab has recently identified 4 new proteins involved in innate immunity, the so-called collectins, and we have started to characterize one of these new proteins: cLL. Preliminary results show that cLL has antiviral activity against at least 1 influenza A strain. The effectivity of the other collectins is still unknown.

The student will work on his/her own project within an enthusiastic group of people with similar research interests. The student will express one of the other new chicken collectins (cCL , cCL2 or cSP-A ) as a recombinant protein using the human HEK293 cell expression system. The recombinant protein has to be purified using affinity chromatography and characterized (total mass, purity, presence of sugars or other post-translational modifications). Finally the antibacterial and the antiviral activity of the collectin will be tested.

A wide variety of techniques are used ranging from molecular biology to micro and protein biology, and include RNA isolation, PCR, cloning, protein purification, SDS PAGE, sugar staining, growth curves, determination, antibacterial assays and antiviral assays (anti-haemagglutinase assay)

6 or 9 months

Dr Edwin Veldhuizen, E.J.A.Veldhuizen@uu.nl, 030-2535361