Environmental Mycobiome Modifiers of Inflammation and Fibrosis in Systemic Sclerosis
Technical Report,20 Aug 2014,19 Aug 2015
University of California San Francisco United States
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This project is focused on Systemic Sclerosis SSc, a progressive fibrotic disease characterized by skin fibrosis and damage to internal organs. While a wide range of environmental and biological triggers have been proposed, no definitive etiologic agents have yet been identified. Metagenomic analysis of non-human sequences in SSc RNA-seq data was used to detect microbial sequences in human tissues in an unbiased, quantitative manner. Our studies suggest that disease pathogenesis includes a common environmental fungal trigger, Rhodotorula glutinis, which we hypothesize elicits immune activation in a permissive host genetic background. Skin biopsies have been collected from SSc patients and analyzed by high-throughput sequencing, providing substantial gene expression data as well as detailed information regarding the host microbiome. Data has been compared against that of healthy control samples.