To introduce high school students to the molecular mechanisms governing health and disease, I recently developed a course entitled, “The Cell and Molecular Basis of Human Health and Disease”, which offers an exploration of how such fundamental processes as gene regulation, cell communication, and cell death form the basis of health and disease. To enhance the immunology unit within this course, I have developed a curriculum based on my summer research that is focused on current understanding of host antimicrobial innate defense and the impact of polymorphisms within Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2. Using transfection-based complementation of HEK293 cells, we found that R753Q inhibits TLR2-mediated activation of NF-kB and expression of IL-8 but does not affect TLR2 expression. Students will learn the basics of TLR innate defense, study TLR expression/functions and how expression of inflammatory cytokines is controlled by transcription
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