Elaine W. Raines is a Research Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington. After completing graduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, she worked with the late Russell Ross at the University of Washington, initially purifying PDGF from human platelets and then studying its activities and regulation, particularly in vascular cells and atherosclerosis.
Her laboratory continues to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of lesions of atherosclerosis. Using a combination cell and molecular biology approaches, her laboratory is testing the role of specific genes in the regulation of vascular cell function in culture and in mouse models of atherosclerosis, with both gene therapy and gene targeting approaches.
Specific topics currently being investigated include:
(1) use of a novel macrophage-selective retroviral gene expression system to test the role of macrophage-derived inflammatory proteins in atherosclerotic lesion progression and plaque rupture;
(2) proteolytic regulation of endothelial cell and monocyte adhesion molecules critical to the inflammatory response by a family of proteases (ADAMs) that can rapidly shed these molecules from the cell surface;
(3) use of proteomic approaches to identify novel substrates of ADAM proteases and matrix metalloproteinases, and to quantify specific cleavage products within lesions of atherosclerosis;
(4) analysis of regulatory mechanisms controlling recruitment of inflammatory monocytes and their proliferation within lesions;
(5) investigation of mechanisms through which scavenger receptor cleavage by ADAM10 and ADAM17 promotes inflammation; and (6) development and testing of therapeutic strategies to limit specific proteolytic events.