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Tyler Ulland

Mentor: Fayyaz Sutterwala, M.D./Ph.D.
Lab Room: D115 MTF
Lab Phone: 319-335-4323

Innate immune response to the Gram-negative bacteria Francisella tularensis

Our laboratory primarily studies a group of structurally related molecules known as the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing receptor (NLR) family of proteins as well as structural related proteins e.g. the PYHIN molecule AIM2. There are approximately 22 murine NLRs and the most highly characterized function of NLRs is that they play a central role in the formation of the inflammasome. My project focuses on the innate immune response to the Gram-negative bacteria Francisella tularensis. The innate immune response to F. tularensis is complex involving the coordination of a number of different pathogen associated molecular pattern and danger associated molecular pattern receptors. My work has utilized a library of different F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) mutants to identify a number of LVS mutants that have differing ability to activate the AIM2 inflammasome in murine macrophages. Recently we have also been investigating the contribution of other NLRs to the recognition and innate immune response to LVS.

Ulland TK, Jain N, Hornick EE, Elliott EI, Clay GM, Sadler JJ, Mills KA, Janowski AM, Volk AP, Wang K, Legge KL, Gakhar L, Bourdi M, Ferguson PJ, Wilson ME, Cassel SL, Sutterwala FS. Nlrp12 mutation causes C57BL/6J strain-specific defect in neutrophil recruitment. Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 25;7:13180. doi:10.1038/ncomms13180. PubMed PMID: 27779193; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5093323.

Ulland TK, Ferguson PJ, Sutterwala FS. Evasion of inflammasome activation by microbial pathogens. J Clin Invest. 2015 Feb;125(2):469-77. doi:10.1172/JCI75254. Epub 2015 Feb 2. Review. PubMed PMID: 25642707; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4319426.

Chen G, Wang X, Severo MS, Sakhon OS, Sohail M, Brown LJ, Sircar M, Snyder GA, Sundberg EJ, Ulland TK, Olivier AK, Andersen JF, Zhou Y, Shi GP, Sutterwala FS, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JH. The tick salivary protein sialostatin L2 inhibits caspase-1-mediated inflammation during Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection. Infect Immun. 2014 Jun;82(6):2553-64. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01679-14. Epub 2014 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 24686067; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4019176.

Ulland TK, Janowski AM, Buchan BW, Faron M, Cassel SL, Jones BD, Sutterwala FS. Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain folate metabolism and pseudouridine synthase gene mutants modulate macrophage caspase-1 activation. Infect Immun. 2013 Jan;81(1):201-8. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00991-12. Epub 2012 Oct 31. PubMed PMID: 23115038; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3536133.

Ulland TK, Buchan BW, Ketterer MR, Fernandes-Alnemri T, Meyerholz DK, Apicella MA, Alnemri ES, Jones BD, Nauseef WM, Sutterwala FS. Cutting edge: mutation of Francisella tularensis mviN leads to increased macrophage absent in melanoma 2 inflammasome activation and a loss of virulence. J Immunol. 2010 Sep 1;185(5):2670-4. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1001610. Epub 2010 Aug 2. PubMed PMID:20679532; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2953561.

Iyer SS, Pulskens WP, Sadler JJ, Butter LM, Teske GJ, Ulland TK, Eisenbarth SC, Florquin S, Flavell RA, Leemans JC, Sutterwala FS. Necrotic cells trigger a sterile inflammatory response through the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 1;106(48):20388-93. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908698106. Epub 2009 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 19918053; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2787135.

Moreland JG, Hook JS, Bailey G, Ulland T, Nauseef WM. Francisella tularensis directly interacts with the endothelium and recruits neutrophils with a blunted inflammatory phenotype. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Jun;296(6):L1076-84. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.90332.2008. Epub 2009 Apr 3. PubMed PMID: 19346432; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2692798.

Honors and Awards

  • Graduate Student Senate Travel Funds Award - Spring 2014
  • Center for Immunology and Immune Based Disease Travel Award 2013