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Dec 08, 2021

PDF Seminar (2021-12-08)

Date: Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Venue: Cheung Kung Hai Lecture Theatre 1, G/F, William M.W. Mong Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Time: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Boxiao WANG (Post-doctoral Fellow)
Primary Supervisor: Prof. Ren SUN
Presentation Title: A preliminary study of de novo design of epitope-focused vaccine
Abstract: The outbreak of Covid-19 has raised an urgency of developing effective therapies or vaccines. Despite high efficacy of approved vaccines, viral mutations have been demonstrated to considerably wane the effectiveness of these vaccines, of particular note are mRNA vaccines that elicit antibodies exclusively targeting Spike protein. In this study, we aim to devise vaccine candidates which display conserved epitopes derived from the major antigen of Covid-19, Spike protein. We expect that immunization with rationally designed candidates can produce antibodies that recognize the conserved regions of RBD, thereby giving rise to high resistance against viral mutations. To date, a few primary candidates have been designed and optimized by virtue of Rosetta, ColabFold further verified our designs, with similar super secondary structure and tertiary structure arrangements to Rosetta. These candidates will serve as templates for large scale output and provide novel insights into de novo fabricating scaffolds for displaying conserved epitopes in the future.

5:30 p.m. 

Speaker: Dr. Anna Xiaodan YU (Post-doctoral Fellow)
Primary Supervisor: Prof. Kathryn Song Eng CHEAH
Presentation Title: Mmp14-mediated titration of PTH signalling in osteoblasts: Implications for disorders of low bone mass
Abstract: Mmp14 plays an important role in bone homeostasis, as suggested by dwarfism, severe osteopenia, arthritis, and lipodystrophy observed in Mmp14 knock out mice. While the cell of origin in which Mmp14 controls osteoblast (OB) differentiation has been partly known, the role of Mmp14 in chondrocyte-to-osteoblast lineage continuum, and signalling pathways mediated by Mmp14 in hypertrophic chondrocyte (HC) derived OB in response to parathyroid hormone (PTH) treatment are less understood. We found that conditional deletion of Mmp14 in HC descendants resulted in increased trabecular bone at P10 and P21, with increased number of HC descendants and expression of osteogenic markers in trabecular bone, as well as decreased cell death at the chondro-osseous junction. Surprisingly, HC-derived OBs contributed ~50% of osteogenesis promoted by PTH treatment, and the increasing trabecular bone effect by PTH treatment was more effective in HC lineage-specific Mmp14 knockout mice than the control mice. Further molecular mechanism study revealed that Mmp14 cleaved the extracellular domain of PTH1R dampening PTH signalling. Our study identified a novel paradigm of Mmp14 activity-mediated titration of PTH signalling in the HC-OB lineage, contributing new insights into bone metabolism with therapeutic significance for bone loss diseases.



Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Miss River Wong at 3917 9216.