Deborah L. Hodge, Ph.D.
Deborah L. Hodge, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

The focus of Dr. Hodge's research is the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression in natural killer cells. In particular, Dr. Hodge is interested in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that control interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), a pleiotropic cytokine that is a major regulator of immune function.

Her current research focuses on close examination of the IFN-gamma mRNA for potential cis-acting elements responsible for regulation of the mRNA, particularly the 3’ untranslated region of the IFN-gamma mRNA that contains multiple AU-rich elements. These elements are currently being investigated for their regulatory potential.

Areas of Expertise
1) protein regulation 2) interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)

Contact Info

Deborah L. Hodge, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Bldg. 560, Rm 31-16
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
301 846 6501
hodged@mail.nih.gov

Studies on interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) expression have concluded that regulation of this protein is complex and involves both transcriptional regulation of the IFN-gamma gene as well as post-transcriptional control of the IFN-gamma mRNA. Of these control mechanisms, post-transcriptional regulation is the least understood. Early studies performed in our laboratory have shown that IL-12 in combination with IL-2 stabilizes IFN-gamma mRNA expression. We have extended that observation and found that one mechanism by which IL-12 controls IFN-gamma mRNA expression involves nuclear retention of preexisting IFN-gamma transcripts. This retention is relieved in response to secondary stimulation and results in rapid nucleo-cytoplasmic shutting of the IFN-gamma mRNA with subsequent protein synthesis. Our current work has focused on close examination of the IFN-gamma mRNA for potential cis-acting elements responsible for regulation of the mRNA. We are particularly interested in the 3’ untranslated region of the IFN-gamma mRNA that contains multiple AU-rich elements. These elements are currently being investigated for their regulatory potential.

Selected Publications
  1. Hodge DL, Berthet C, Coppola V, Kastenmüller W, Buschman MD, Schaughency PM, Shirota H, Scarzello AJ, Subleski JJ, Anver MR, Ortaldo JR, Lin F, Reynolds DA, Sanford ME, Kaldis P, Tessarollo L, Klinman DM, Young HA
    J Autoimmun. 53: 33-45, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Hodge DL, Reynolds D, Cerbán FM, Correa SG, Baez NS, Young HA, Rodriguez-Galan MC.
    Eur J Immunol. 42: 2644-54, 2012. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Subleski JJ, Hall VL, Wolfe TB, Scarzello AJ, Weiss JM, Chan T, Hodge DL, Back TC, Ortaldo JR, Wiltrout RH
    J Immunol. 186: 838-47, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Hodge DL, Yang J, Buschman MD, Schaughency PM, Dang H, Bere W, Yang Y, Savan R, Subleski JJ, Yin XM, Loughran TP, Young HA.
    Cancer Res. 69: 3986-94, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Whittaker GC, Burshtyn DN, Orr SJ, Quigley L, Hodge DL, Pascal V, Zhang W, McVicar DW
    Blood. 112: 2869-77, 2008. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Hodge completed a B.S. in both chemistry and biology at Shepherd College in 1991 and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from West Virginia University in 1997. Upon completion of graduate school, Dr. Hodge joined the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Young. In 2002, Dr. Hodge accepted the position of staff scientist and has continued to perform research at NCI at Frederick since that time. The focus of her research is the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression in natural killer cells. In particular, Dr. Hodge is interested in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that control interferon gamma, a pleiotropic cytokine that is a major regulator of immune function.

Research

Studies on interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) expression have concluded that regulation of this protein is complex and involves both transcriptional regulation of the IFN-gamma gene as well as post-transcriptional control of the IFN-gamma mRNA. Of these control mechanisms, post-transcriptional regulation is the least understood. Early studies performed in our laboratory have shown that IL-12 in combination with IL-2 stabilizes IFN-gamma mRNA expression. We have extended that observation and found that one mechanism by which IL-12 controls IFN-gamma mRNA expression involves nuclear retention of preexisting IFN-gamma transcripts. This retention is relieved in response to secondary stimulation and results in rapid nucleo-cytoplasmic shutting of the IFN-gamma mRNA with subsequent protein synthesis. Our current work has focused on close examination of the IFN-gamma mRNA for potential cis-acting elements responsible for regulation of the mRNA. We are particularly interested in the 3’ untranslated region of the IFN-gamma mRNA that contains multiple AU-rich elements. These elements are currently being investigated for their regulatory potential.

Publications

Selected Publications
  1. Hodge DL, Berthet C, Coppola V, Kastenmüller W, Buschman MD, Schaughency PM, Shirota H, Scarzello AJ, Subleski JJ, Anver MR, Ortaldo JR, Lin F, Reynolds DA, Sanford ME, Kaldis P, Tessarollo L, Klinman DM, Young HA
    J Autoimmun. 53: 33-45, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Hodge DL, Reynolds D, Cerbán FM, Correa SG, Baez NS, Young HA, Rodriguez-Galan MC.
    Eur J Immunol. 42: 2644-54, 2012. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Subleski JJ, Hall VL, Wolfe TB, Scarzello AJ, Weiss JM, Chan T, Hodge DL, Back TC, Ortaldo JR, Wiltrout RH
    J Immunol. 186: 838-47, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Hodge DL, Yang J, Buschman MD, Schaughency PM, Dang H, Bere W, Yang Y, Savan R, Subleski JJ, Yin XM, Loughran TP, Young HA.
    Cancer Res. 69: 3986-94, 2009. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Whittaker GC, Burshtyn DN, Orr SJ, Quigley L, Hodge DL, Pascal V, Zhang W, McVicar DW
    Blood. 112: 2869-77, 2008. [ Journal Article ]

Biography

Dr. Hodge completed a B.S. in both chemistry and biology at Shepherd College in 1991 and earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from West Virginia University in 1997. Upon completion of graduate school, Dr. Hodge joined the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Young. In 2002, Dr. Hodge accepted the position of staff scientist and has continued to perform research at NCI at Frederick since that time. The focus of her research is the molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression in natural killer cells. In particular, Dr. Hodge is interested in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms that control interferon gamma, a pleiotropic cytokine that is a major regulator of immune function.