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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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N. Tony Eissa, M.D. - Faculty

N. Tony EissaProfessor, Departments of Medicine and Pathology & Immunology

M.D., Tanta Faculty of Science, Tanta, Egypt
Internal Medicine, Cornell Medical Center
Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Research Fellow, Critical Care Division, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Meakins‑Christie labs, McGill University
Clinical Pulmonary Fellow, Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI, NIH


Research Interests: Innate Immunity and Inflammation
Our laboratory is interested in two related aspects of innate immunity and inflammation. These are: the process of elimination of pathogens by autophagy and the regulation of nitric oxide synthesis by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).

Regulation of Autophagy in Innate Immunity
Our work on autophagy involves determining the molecular pathways regulating autophagy during pathogen infection. Autophagy has been recently shown to be an important component of the innate immune response by degrading foreign microbial invaders. The upstream signaling pathways leading to activation of autophagy are not known and currently under investigation in our laboratory. Our recent study links autophagy to innate immunity Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Further, it defines the signaling pathway downstream from TLR4 via TRIF/RIP1/p38MAPK. This pathway maintains cell survival in the context of autophagy associated with infection and is distinct from autophagic cell death. The potential therapeutic use of modulating this pathway is significant. As a proof of concept, we used LPS treatment to force mycobacterium tuberculosis to the autophagosomes and to be lysed by the lysosomes.

Cellular Regulation of Nitric Oxide Synthesis in Inflammation
Our laboratory is credited with several key discoveries for the regulation of iNOS. These discoveries included regulation of iNOS by alternative mRNA splicing, elucidation of structural domains required for iNOS activity and dimerization, determination of key residues in iNOS structure needed to control its activity and substrate binding, identifying the degradation pathway for iNOS, elucidating iNOS regulation by ubiquitination, determining the rate of cellular iNOS turnover and discovering the translational inhibition of iNOS by dimerization inhibitors. In addition, we have recently shown that iNOS forms what we termed the ‘physiologic aggresome”. Previously the aggresome has been thought to represent a sequestration of misfolded proteins. Thus, iNOS aggresome defines a new paradigm for cellular regulation of protein processing. This extensive work on the mechanisms of iNOS regulation has increased our understanding of iNOS biology and has laid the ground work for potential breakthroughs both in understanding iNOS regulation as well in devising novel strategies to regulate iNOS in diseases characterized by over production of NO. The work on iNOS extends our observations to how cells regulate protein trafficking between the proteasome (for degradation) and the aggresome (as a holding station). Thus, the significance of the work involves many pathological conditions including lung inflammation and fibrosis, cardiovascular shock, and stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

Selected Publications:

  • Tyryshkin A, Gorgun FM, Abdel Fattah E, Mazumdar T, Pandit L, Zeng S, Eissa NT. SRC kinase-mediated phosphorylation stabilizes iNOS in normal and in cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Liu X-D, Mazumdar T, Xu Y, Getzoff ED, Eissa NT. Identification of a flavin mononucleotide module residue critical for activity of inducible nitrite oxide synthase. J Immunol, 183:5977-5982, 2009.
  • Jagannath C, Lindsey DR, Dhandayuthapani S, Xu Y, Hunter RL Jr, Eissa NT. (2009). Autophagy enhances the efficacy of BCG vaccine by increasing peptide presentation in mouse dendritic cells. Nature Medicine, 15, 267-276.
  • Pandit L, Kolodziejska KE, Zeng S, Eissa NT. (2009). The physiologic aggresome mediates cellular inactivation of iNOS. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106, 1211-1215.
  • Sha Y, Pandit L, Zeng S, Eissa NT.(2009).Critical role for CHIP in the aggresome pathway. Mol Cell Biol, 29: 116:128.
  • Xu Y, Jagannath C, Liu X-D, Sharafkhaneh A, Kolodziejska KE and Eissa NT. (2007). Toll-like receptor 4 is a sensor for autophagy associated with innate immunity. Immunity 27:134-144.
  • Kolodziejska KE, Burns AR, Moore RH, Stenoien DL and Eissa NT. (2005). Regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase by aggresome Formation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102:4854-4859.
  • Mazumdar T and Eissa NT. (2005). Preferential recognition of undisruptable dimers of inducible nitric oxide synthase by a monoclonal antibody directed against an N-terminal epitope. J. Immunol. 174:2314-2317.
  • Kolodziejski PJ, Koo J-S and Eissa NT. (2004). Regulation of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase by Rapid Cellular Turnover and Co-translational Downregulation by Dimerization Inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 101:18141-18146.
  • Kolodziejski PJ, Rashid MB and Eissa NT. (2003). Intracellular formation of novel “undisruptable” dimers of inducible nitric oxide synthase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:14263-14268.

Contact Information:

Tony Eissa, M.D.
Department of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, BCM285
Houston, TX 77030

Telephone: 713-798-3657

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