Rhiannon Griffiths

Research student, Ysgol Deintyddiaeth

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Biology (with a year in industry) – University of York (2013)

Thesis

Unconventional protein secretion in innate immunity: The role of P2X7R in transglutaminase 2 export and activation

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease, yet very few tools for diagnosis and intervention are available to influence the disease course and alleviate the need for joint replacement. My research is working towards an understanding of the pathogenic processes that characterize OA development and progression to enable early intervention in the future.

It is now accepted that aberrant immune responses contribute to the disease process. One protein that has been implicated is transglutaminase 2 (TG2). TG2 is an enzyme capable of posttranslationally modifying other proteins through transamidation, deamidation or esterification, a process that may drive immune responses. I am studying a novel pathway of protein secretion to understand mechanistically how TG2 export from cells is regulated and how this process links to the generation of the active form of the enzyme. We have identified that purinergic signaling controls rapid TG2 secretion, and that this requires P2X7 receptor but that a pathway distinct from the NALP3 inflammasome pathway is involved (Adamczyk et al., 2015).

 Research theme

Oral and biomedical sciences