Rothenberg Lab

  • Research Objectives

    The Rothenberg laboratory has several broad objectives that encompass the specific research hypotheses currently being investigated in the laboratory.

    • Elucidating the cellular and molecular processes involved in allergic responses in the gastrointestinal tract and lung using approaches that include novel models of allergic responses in vivo and in vitro.
    • Testing the importance of key molecules including chemokines and cytokines in vivo using transgenic and gene-targeted mice.
    • Biochemically characterizing the transcriptional programs, regulating molecules and signal transduction mechanisms responsible for eosinophil development and activation.
    • Testing the importance and blockade of these pathways in patients with inflammatory diseases such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EE or EoE) and hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES).
    • Identifying genes and key check points that predispose to eosinophilic and other allergic disorders.
  • Ongoing Research Projects

    Gastrointestinal Eosinophils
    Steroids and Allergic Disease
    Allergic Disease Epigenetics
    Mechanistic Analysis of EoE
    IL-13 and EoE
    Genetics of EoE
    CBP in EoE
    Mechanistic Analysis of Asthma
    Eotaxins / CCR3 in Asthma
  • Desmoglein 1 in EE.

    Desmoglein 1 in EE - Read More. 

    Desmoglein 1 in EE.

    The Role of Desmoglein 1 in Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE)

    Desmoglein1 (DSG1) is an integral component of the desmosome complex that plays a role in the structural integrity of the epithelial cell layers.  Microarray data, immunofluorescence and Western blot show that DSG1 mRNA and protein are downregulated in the esophagus of EE patients.  Our lab has also found a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in DSG1 that is correlated with EE disease.  We are currently studying the effects of DSG1 downregulation on cell adherence with shRNA-transduced cell lines as well as how the DSG1 promoter may regulate the decrease of this protein in EE.

  • Diagnosing EE.

    EE Diagnosis is Invasive - Read More.

    Diagnosing EE.

    Finding a Less Invasive Method of Diagnosing Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE)

    Currently the diagnosis of EE, and assessment of treatment response, involves invasive endoscopy and biopsy procurement and analysis and is not always accurate.  Our lab is working on a more definitive molecular diagnostic test, which may also prove to be less invasive.  This research involves developing a multigene panel of the genes involved in the “EE signature” into an array format that can be run using clinical samples from patients.  This array should also be able to tell us which patients will be responsive to specific treatments as well as predict disease severity and quality of life for these patients.

  • current-visual3-cdh26-jpg

    Cadherin-like 26 in EGID – Read More


    Cadherin-like 26 (CDH26) Expression and Function in eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs)

    The uncharacterized protein CDH26 is highly expressed in esophageal and gastric epithelial cells of patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) and eosinophilic gastritis (EG), respectively, compared to the corresponding epithelial cells of normal (NL) individuals. We are investigating whether this molecule may have a role in EGID pathogenesis by overexpressing CDH26 in esophageal and gastric cell lines and monitoring their phenotypes. Additionally, we are performing biochemical characterization of this molecule to determine how it may affect cell adhesion and other cell functions.