I will describe the regulation of inflammatory gene expression via the phosphorylation of the RNA-binding protein tristetraprolin (TTP), and discuss evidence that this process is modulated by glucocorticoids as an anti-inflammatory mechanism. In the second half of the seminar I will discuss unpublished data concerning two novel anti-inflammatory mechanisms of glucocorticoids. The first of these involves a member of the interferon response factor family of transcription factors; the second involves a microRNA that is believed to regulate mitochondrial function.
Andy Clark qualified from the University of Cambridge with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences in 1987, then did a PhD on the transcription of insulin genes at the University of Birmingham. After postdoctoral positions at the University of Birmingham and ICRF (now known as Cancer Research UK) he was recruited as a lecturer at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London. He worked there with Jerry Saklatvala and Jon Dean between 1996 and 2012, defining a mechanism for the control of inflammatory gene expression by the MAPK p38 pathway in macrophages. He also became interested in how glucocorticoids inhibit inflammatory responses of macrophages, and published several seminal papers on this question. In 2012 Andy was appointed Professor of Inflammation Biology at the University of Birmingham. His research interests continue to centre on mechanisms that constrain the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators by macrophages.