Last updated on April 2019

Sorting and Expression Profiling of Airway Cells From Humans (The SEARCH Study)

Brief description of study

This will be a single site, mechanistic study of asthmatic subjects and healthy, non-asthmatic controls involving a baseline characterization visit and a research bronchoscopy visit. We will identify differences in airway epithelial epigenetic enhancer signatures in asthma, by analyzing freshly isolated airway epithelial cells from healthy controls and from well-characterized subjects with asthma.

Detailed Study Description

The airway epithelium is critical for normal lung function and changes in the epithelium are central to the development of asthma. Precise regulation of gene transcription is essential for airway epithelial cell differentiation and transcription changes lead to many abnormalities seen in asthma. Despite the dominant role of enhancers in regulating transcription, little is known about how these DNA regulatory elements control airway epithelial cell transcription or about how enhancer activity differs in asthma compared to health. Closing this knowledge gap will have a major impact on our understanding of normal epithelial development and asthma. In addition, enhancer-based approaches for reprogramming the airway epithelium promise to be powerful tools for dissecting mechanism that will set the stage for developing a new class of precisely targeted treatments for asthma. Our overall goals are to identify enhancers that are important in regulation of key airway epithelial cell genes, to determine how enhancer activity changes in asthma, and to develop approaches for targeting the activity of these enhancers.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02791542

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