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Medical protein chemistry

Anna Blom’s research group

Our research

Our group focuses on the complement system, which is part of the immune system. The complement system contains more than 40 proteins that circulate in the blood and these proteins play an important role in the innate defense against pathogens, and in the removal of unwanted materials.

Researchers have discovered that complement proteins also have other functions; one example is the intracellular functions of complement proteins in beta cells. Our group found that complement C3 is expressed in beta cells where it plays a prosurvival role, partly by inducing autophagy, a mechanism by which cells recycle cellular components. We also found that CD59, a protein present on the surface of almost all cells which protects cells from being attacked by the immune system, can also be found inside cells, where it regulates insulin secretion.

Aims

Our research aim is to further our understanding of the role of these complement proteins in physiology and metabolism of beta cells, focusing on intracellular complement factor C3 in beta cell survival and function, and membrane-bound complement inhibitor CD59 in insulin secretion.

Impact

Ultimately, we believe that a better understanding of the mechanisms that control and alleviate beta cell stress and the mechanisms that participate in insulin secretion can lead to the development of new strategies for extending beta cell survival and function in type 2 diabetes.

Research output

Link to a list of research output by the group in Lund University’s research portal


Team members

Link to a list of team members in Lund University's research portal

 

Current major grants

Portrait of Anna Blom. Photograph.

Anna Blom

Principal investigator
Professor of medical protein chemistry
+46 40 33 82 33
+46 70 415 06 82
anna [dot] blom [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Anna Blom’s profile in Lund University’s research portal

 

Affiliations

EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden

Link to EXODIAB’s page in Lund University’s research portal