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Title: From the hot springs of Yellowstone to Crohn’s disease: FAMIN as a key link between Redox and Immunity

Speaker: Dr Zaeem Cader, Clinician Scientist Group Leader at The Francis Crick Institute.

Host: Professor Mike Malim, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine.


Variants in the protein FAMIN predispose individuals to autoimmunity, autoinflammation and infection. However, FAMIN’s biological function had remained elusive. By developing a novel mass spectrometry-based enzyme discovery platform, my work revealed that FAMIN acts as a multifunctional purine nucleoside enzyme whose activities are evolutionarily conserved from bacteria to man. I showed that FAMIN enables a metabolic cycle that balances redox state and prevents cellular hyper-acidification. This cycle supports cell metabolism during innate immune responses such as cytokine signalling and bacterial killing whilst restraining excessive T cell priming. Moving forwards, my research seeks to understand how redox and proton homeostasis regulate fundamental and disease-relevant immune processes.

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