Their application has so far been limited because they are difficult to make and expensive. An invention by the research group of Sebastian Springer, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Jacobs University, now promises to change that.
MHC class I molecules are proteins that bind to peptides from the interior of infected or cancerous cells and transport them to the cell surface. There the virus- or tumor-derived peptides are recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes, so-called killer T cells, with the help of their T cell receptors.
The killer T cells can then remove infected or malignant cells by inducing programmed cell death. To find out how many killer T cells exist for each virus or tumor peptide, doctors and scientists use the same MHC class I proteins, bound to that peptide and tied together in clusters of four, to stain T cells from patient blood.
These clusters of four, or 'tetramers', are made in a multi-step process that takes several weeks and is expensive. For every new peptide scientists want to investigate, the production process has to start over, which adds to the cost.
The group of Prof. Sebastian Springer at the Molecular Life Science Center of Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, has now invented a technique that allows the production of tetramers with small molecules, which can later be exchanged for any peptide of interest, which greatly accelerates the production process.
"We currently use dipeptides, that is, very short peptides made up of just two amino acids", explains Prof. Springer. "We found that they fit well into the peptide binding site but that they have a low affinity, which is very handy: when their concentration is decreased, they come out quickly and can then be replaced by a normal peptide that binds with high affinity." The researchers hope that their work will lead to a great increase in the availability of tetramer reagents. Their work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA (September 17, 2013).
Judith Ahues | idw
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction