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
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy