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Dr Diane Lee


Impact Acceleration Account and KE (MRC & PhD/ECR) Manager
PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Academic and research departments

School of Veterinary Medicine.

About

Areas of specialism

Primary and secondary tissue culture; Epithelial cell biology (lung and GI tract) ; Protein purification ; Molecular biology

University roles and responsibilities

  • NASPA Sub-committee member
  • Impact Acceleration Account and KE (MRC & PhD/ECR) Manager

    Research

    Research interests

    Teaching

    Publications

    Diane Frances Lee, David James Everest, William Cooley, Mark Andrew Chambers (2023)Investigation of nasal epithelial cells as a surrogate for bronchial epithelial cells in the research of equine asthma, In: PloS one18(11) Public Library of Science
    Kevin Maringer, A Yousuf, KJ Heesom, J Fan, D Lee, A Fernandez-Sesma, C Bessant, DA Matthews, AD Davidson (2017)Proteomics Informed by Transcriptomics for Characterising Active Transposable Elements and Genome Annotation in Aedes Aegypti, In: BMC Genomics18(101) BioMed Central

    Background: Aedes aegypti is a vector for the (re-)emerging human pathogens dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses. Almost half of the Ae. aegypti genome is comprised of transposable elements (TEs). Transposons have been linked to diverse cellular processes, including the establishment of viral persistence in insects, an essential step in the transmission of vector-borne viruses. However, up until now it has not been possible to study the overall proteome derived from an organism’s mobile genetic elements, partly due to the highly divergent nature of TEs. Furthermore, as for many non-model organisms, incomplete genome annotation has hampered proteomic studies on Ae. aegypti. Results: We analysed the Ae. aegypti proteome using our new proteomics informed by transcriptomics (PIT) technique, which bypasses the need for genome annotation by identifying proteins through matched transcriptomic (rather than genomic) data. Our data vastly increase the number of experimentally confirmed Ae. aegypti proteins. The PIT analysis also identified hotspots of incomplete genome annotation, and showed that poor sequence and assembly quality do not explain all annotation gaps. Finally, in a proof-of principle study, we developed criteria for the characterisation of proteomically active TEs. Protein expression did not correlate with a TE’s genomic abundance at different levels of classification. Most notably, long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons were markedly enriched compared to other elements. PIT was superior to ‘conventional’ proteomic approaches in both our transposon and genome annotation analyses. Conclusions: We present the first proteomic characterisation of an organism’s repertoire of mobile genetic elements, which will open new avenues of research into the function of transposon proteins in health and disease. Furthermore, our study provides a proof-of concept that PIT can be used to evaluate a genome’s annotation to guide annotation efforts which has the potential to improve the efficiency of annotation projects in non-model organisms. PIT therefore represents a valuable new tool to study the biology of the important vector species Ae. aegypti, including its role in transmitting emerging viruses of global public health concern.

    DIANE LEE, Clare L. Thompson, Ronald E. Baynes, Hiroko Enomoto, Geof W. Smith, MARK CHAMBERS (2022)Development and evaluation of a bovine lung-on-chip (bLOC) to study bovine respiratory diseases, In: In vitro models Springer
    Diane F. Lee, Clare L. Thompson, Ronald E. Baynes, Hiroko Enomoto, Geof W. Smith, Mark A. Chambers (2023)Publisher Correction: Development and evaluation of a bovine lung-on-chip (bLOC) to study bovine respiratory diseases, In: In vitro models1(6)pp. 473-474 Springer International Publishing

    The epithelial lining of the lung is often the first point of interaction between the host and inhaled pathogens, allergens and medications. Epithelial cells are therefore the main focus of studies which aim to shed light on host-pathogen interactions, to dissect the mechanisms of local host immunity and study toxicology. If these studies are not to be conducted exclusively in vivo, it is imperative that in vitro models are developed with a high in vitro- in vivo correlation. We describe here a co-culture bilayer model of the bovine alveolus, designed to overcome some of the limitations encountered with mono-culture and live animal models. Our system includes bovine pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (BPAECs) seeded onto a permeable membrane in 24 well Transwell format. The BPAECs are overlaid with immortalised bovine alveolar type II epithelial cells and the bilayer cultured at air-liquid interface for 14 days before use; in our case to study host-mycobacterial interactions. Characterisation of novel cell lines and the bilayer model have provided compelling evidence that immortalised bovine alveolar type II cells are an authentic substitute for primary alveolar type II cells and their culture as a bilayer in conjunction with BPAECs provides a physiologically relevant in vitro model of the bovine alveolus.   The bilayer model may be used to study dynamic intracellular and extracellular host-pathogen interactions, using proteomics, genomics, live cell imaging, in-cell ELISA and confocal microscopy. The model presented in this article enables other researchers to establish an in vitro model of the bovine alveolus that is easy to set up, malleable and serves as a comparable alternative to in vivo models, whilst allowing study of early host-pathogen interactions, currently not feasible in vivo. The model therefore achieves one of the 3Rs objectives in that it replaces the use of animals in research of bovine respiratory diseases.

    Diane Frances Lee, Mark Andrew Chambers (2019)Isolation of Alveolar Type II Cells from Adult Bovine Lung, In: Current Protocols in Toxicology80(1)e71 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

    Alveolar type II (ATII) cells play a key role as part of the distal lung epithelium, including in the innate immune response and as self‐renewing progenitors to replace alveolar type I (ATI) cells during epithelial regeneration. Their secretion of surfactant protein helps maintain homeostasis and exerts protective, antimicrobial properties. ATII cells remain difficult to study, partly due to inefficient and expensive isolation methods, a propensity to differentiate into ATI cells, and susceptibility to fibroblast contamination. Published methods of isolation often require specialized technology, negatively impacting the development of in vitro models of disease, including bovine tuberculosis. Presented here is a simple and cost‐effective method for generation of bovine primary ATII cells. These cells exhibit an ATII phenotype in 2D and 3D culture and are conducive to further study of the role of ATII cells in bovine respiratory diseases.

    Diane Frances Lee, Francisco Javier Salguero, Duncan Grainger, Robert James Francis, Kirsty MacLellan-Gibson, Mark Andrew Chambers (2018)Isolation and characterisation of alveolar type II pneumocytes from adult bovine lung, In: Scientific Reports8(1) Nature Publishing Group

    Alveolar type II (ATII) cells play a key role as part of the distal lung epithelium, including roles in the innate immune response and as self-renewing progenitors to replace alveolar type I (ATI) cells during regeneration of the alveolar epithelium. Their secretion of surfactant protein helps to maintain homeostasis in the distal lung and exert protective, antimicrobial properties. Despite the cell’s crucial roles, they remain difficult to study, in part due to inefficient and expensive isolation methods, a propensity to differentiate into alveolar type I cells in culture and susceptibility to fibroblast overgrowth from primary isolations. Published methods of isolation often require specialist technology, negatively impacting the development of in vitro models of disease, including bovine tuberculosis (BTB), a serious re-emerging disease in both animals and humans worldwide. We present here a simple and cost effective method that may be utilised in the generation of bovine primary ATII cells. These exhibit an ATII phenotype in 2D and 3D culture in our studies and are conducive to further study of the role of ATII cells in bovine respiratory diseases.

    Diane Frances Lee, Graham Roger Stewart, Mark Andrew Chambers (2020)Modelling early events in Mycobacterium bovis infection using a co-culture model of the bovine alveolus, In: Scientific reports10(1)pp. 18495-18495 NATURE PORTFOLIO

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a zoonosis mainly caused by Mycobacterium bovis has severe socio-economic consequences and impact on animal health. Host-pathogen interactions during M. bovis infection are poorly understood, especially early events which are difficult to follow in vivo. This study describes the utilisation of an in vitro co-culture model, comprising immortalised bovine alveolar type II (BATII) epithelial cells and bovine pulmonary arterial endothelial cells (BPAECs). When cultured at air-liquid interface, it was possible to follow the migration of live M. bovis Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and to observe interactions with each cell type, alongside cytokine release. Infection with BCG was shown to exert a detrimental effect primarily upon epithelial cells, with corresponding increases in IL8, TNF alpha, IL22 and IL17a cytokine release, quantified by ELISA. BCG infection increased expression of CD54, MHC Class I and II molecules in endothelial but not epithelial cells, which exhibited constitutive expression. The effect of peripheral blood mononuclear cell conditioned medium from vaccinated cattle upon apical-basolateral migration of BCG was examined by quantifying recovered BCG from the apical, membrane and basolateral fractions over time. The numbers of recovered BCG in each fraction were unaffected by the presence of PBMC conditioned medium, with no observable differences between vaccinated and naive animals.

    Additional publications