University of Malta

Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
UOM Main Page
Apply - Admissions 2016
Medical Museum

Function and regulation of the Chemokine Receptor 4 (CCR4) gene with  pharmacogenetic relevance to novel Asthma therapeutics

Collaborator: Dr Anthony Fenech

This project constitutes a scientific research program, which aims to study the transcriptional regulation, and the functional relevance of coding and regulatory region genetic variants of the CCR4 receptor in humans - one of the major molecular targets of novel anti-asthma therapy currently being developed. The study has pharmacogenetic relevance to novel approaches to the pharmacological management of bronchial asthma, which aim to antagonise these receptors with the scope of targeting the Th2-cell mediated arm of the condition. This work is novel to Malta, and involves new research methodologies that have not yet been applied locally.

The objective of the project is to study and identify genetic contributions to CCR4 receptor expression and regulation, in asthmatic individuals and healthy controls. It will identify potential variations in transcriptional regulation of the CCR4 receptor gene in asthmatic individuals and healthy volunteers, and explain this variation in terms of (i) identified promoter genetic variation and/or (ii) the use of different CCR4 gene promoters in asthmatics / non-asthmatic individuals.  In terms of patient benefit, this information is expected to:

A. identify genetic factors which exert a functional influence on the transcriptional regulation of the gene and/or function of the translated protein, and which may therefore contribute to the identification of individuals who will be expected to benefit from future CCR4 antagonist drugs and individuals who are less likely to show therapeutic benefit due to modified receptor expression or function.

B. identify any contribution of identified CCR4 promoter and coding-sequence variants to the asthma phenotype.


Last Updated: 12 December 2008

Log In back to UoM Homepage