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Yan Xiang, PhD
Yan Xiang, PhD
University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio / Long School of Medicine
March 25, 2024 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
School of Medicine E501
Hosted by: Xinghong Dai, PhD

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"SAMD9-Mediated Innate Immunity Against Viruses and Myeloid Tumors"

SAMD9 and SAMD9L (SAMD9/9L) are a pair of human genes that play an important role in innate immunity against viruses and myeloid tumors. Mutations in human SAMD9/9L, that display gain-of-function (GoF) phenotypes, are associated with multisystem developmental disorders characterized by immunodeficiency and a predisposition to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and leukemia. SAMD9/9L are particularly potent in restricting poxvirus replication, and poxviruses have evolved multiple specific inhibitors against these genes. Recently, our lab made a significant discovery that SAMD9 is a poxvirus-activable tRNA endonuclease that specifically cleaves phenylalanine tRNA, revealing tRNA-Phe depletion as an antiviral mechanism and a pathogenic condition in SAMD9/9L disorders. Studies of SAMD9/9L and their viral inhibitors are crucial for understanding poxvirus host tropisms and for developing therapeutic strategies for diseases caused by GoF SAMD9/9L mutations.