Identification Of Novel Therapeutic Targets In Psoriasis Skin - An Isoform Approach

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the skin cells to multiply up to ten times faster than normal. This results in bumpy red patches covered with white scales. Since it is an autoimmune condition, currently there is no cure for psoriasis. However, there is evidence of the role of Filamin B, beta (FLNB) in regulating MMP9 and VEGFA, two molecules whose increased activities produce psoriatic-like lesions in models. Hence, Susana Poveda, a Research Fellow at Pine Biotech proposes FLNB as a potential target for psoriasis treatments and performed her research project on this topic.

Susana Poveda is a student of B.Sc. Computer Science at the University of London, Goldsmiths. Captivated by the current research in the field of autoimmune diseases, Susana joined the Bioinformatics Research Fellowship Program at Pine Biotech. Here, she worked under the guidance of Dr. Raghavendran Lakshminarayanan, Research Consultant and Mentor at Pine Biotech, and Mr. Elia Brodsky, CEO of Pine Biotech. During the duration of the program, she worked on the following courses and sample projects:


To gain a basic understanding of the concepts in bioinformatics, Susana completed the introductory courses - Course 1: Introduction to Bioinformatics and Course 2: Bytes and Molecules. Further, she went on to complete courses that explore sub-disciplines of bioinformatics in greater detail -  Course 3: Genomics, Course 5: Transcriptomics, Python Course 2: Introduction to Data Science (BioML), and Course 9: Designing a Bioinformatics Research Project. She also completed two example research projects on Project 05: Modeling Cancer Precision Medicine and Project 12 -Differentially Expressed Genes in Alzheimer's.


To view Susana’s OmicsLogic student profile and learn more about the various courses and projects she has completed, visit the link - 


For the purpose of this project, the RNA-seq dataset PRJNA496323 was used. Only samples from the Control and Psoriasis patients were selected and the skin transcriptomes of 45 subjects (15 healthy NN, 15 psoriasis-non-lesion NL, and 15 psoriasis-lesion PL) were analyzed at the isoform level. Exploratory analysis, differential gene expression analysis, and sequence analysis were performed on the dataset as a part of the project. 


T-Bioinfo Server Pipelines

Fig: Image depicting pipelines used for analysis on T-BioInfo server

A novel transcript of FLNB was found, whose translated protein is predicted to be the same as Uniprot O75369-8; its downregulation is expected to increase the activity of MMP9 and VEGF-A, and the proliferation rate of keratinocytes. The expression and activity of MMP9 and VEGF-A have been found to be directly proportional to the severity of the psoriatic lesions. Their upregulation can produce psoriatic-like lesions in models. Since both molecules can be regulated by FLNB and current drugs have severe side effects, this project proposes that filamin-B supplementation, or treatments aiming to upregulate its gene, could be effective in flare-up clearance.  


Here is what Susana had to say about her research fellowship experience:  


“Altogether, the programs and the courses are excellent. In particular, I love the Research Fellowship because it gives access to the learning material while setting an environment to apply all the concepts and blend them with any previous background or new knowledge from external sources. The lack of limitations for selecting a topic of interest is also remarkable and valuable. Finally, the ability to further exploit already available public datasets is worthy.”


To learn more about her research project, visit the link - 


Feeling motivated to work on your own research project? Then don't miss the chance to register yourself for the Bioinformatics Research Fellowship Program


Research Fellowship Program


The Bioinformatics Research Fellowship Program is a structured program that guides students through various areas of Big Data Bioinformatics Research using practical examples. During this program, we go through several high-quality research publications and learn about applications of computational biology in projects these publications describe. This allows beginners to try computational biology techniques on public domain data, making it possible to work with large files and extract meaningful information from patient samples, animal models, cell lines, and microbiota. The program provides support and mentorship, therefore it is an intensive research program involving training tasks, access to our online sessions and a guide on the implementation of learned skills to proposed research ideas. 


To learn more about the program, please visit the link: