Epigenetic regulation of antibody production and the formation of B cell memory to acute and chronic infections
The production of high-affinity antibody and immune memory is central to adaptive immunity. Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as essential regulatory nodes in antibody production. Alterations in the genomic landscape that allow or restrict access of transcription factors are critical to enact or repress gene expression programs during cell differentiation and are modulated by enzymes. For example, the histone methyltransferases MLL and Dot1L modulate chromatin to permit transcription, whereas the two Polycomb repressive complexes work together to repress gene expression. Our recent work has focused on determining the histone modifiers that regulate B cell differentiation during immune responses and how these regulatory processes may go awry in disease. This presentation will detail the dynamic regulation by multiple different epigenetic complexes that is required for antibody production and the formation of immunological memory. Furthermore, our investigation into whether chronic infection alters the genomic landscape in B cells and whether epigenetic regulatory checks are subverted in persisting infections, will be discussed.
Dr. Kim Good-Jacobson leads the B cells and Antibody Memory laboratory at Monash University, investigating chromatin and transcriptional modifications underlying the formation of immune memory. She is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow, and her work has been published in the top general and specialist journals, such as Science, Nature Immunology and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Jacobson completed her PhD at the Centenary and Garvan Institutes in 2007, followed by postdoctoral training at Yale University, where she revealed a novel role for the inhibitory receptor PD-1 in humoral responses. She returned to Australia in 2010 to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, where she made key insights into how histone modifications regulate B cell memory, as well as the essential requirement for the oncogene c-Myb in the migration of long-lived plasma cells to their survival niche. She was a 2016 Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award recipient, currently serves as Treasurer for the Australasian Society for Immunology and writes for The Conversation.
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