Exploring the Role of RIP140 in Regulating the Acute Inflammatory Response in COVID-19 Patients

illustration of cytokine storm

Infection with COVID-19, as well as the other recent novel coronal viral infections, have been associated with a high incidence of acute respiratory failure and the development of the acute respiratory distress syndrome. This has been associated with an overwhelming pro-inflammatory response, also called "cytokine storm."

While targeting individual mediators regulating this storm may be beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19, an understanding of the mechanisms regulating the upstream pathways controlling this acute inflammatory response will allow for the identification of novel targets in the design of pharmacologic agents to treat COVID-19 infection.

In this study, Pat Arndt, MD, associate professor of medicine, will examine the expression and localization of the transcriptional co-regulatory factor receptor interacting protein (RIP) 140, which regulates the pro-inflammatory response, in neutrophils and lymphocytes.  

“Pharmacological blockade of RIP140 by small molecule inhibitors may decrease the COVID-19 induced cytokine storm and accentuate an anti-inflammatory response that would enhance healing, particularly lung repair,” said Arndt.

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.