Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Notre Dame study focuses on protein dynamics

22.01.2010
A discovery by associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Brian Baker and his research group at the University of Notre Dame reveals the importance of dynamic motion by proteins involved in the body's immune response. Results of the study were published in Immunity, the leading research journal in the field of immunology.

Scientists have long known that receptors on the immune system's T-cells are important for discovering and destroying cells that are infected with viruses or other pathogens. Baker's group studied cross-reactivity, the ability of different T-cell receptors which number perhaps a few hundred million in the body to recognize the vastly larger number of possible antigens produced by other cells. The process is important for dealing with viruses, cancers, autoimmunity, transplant rejection and other issues related to the immune system.

Most past studies considered the receptors on each cell as static components, but in fact the molecules move and adopt multiple structures. Baker's group found that the success or failure of the T-cell receptor to attach to a target cell's antigen involves complex movements in search of a compatible final structure. Different antigens produce different kinds of motion.

"What we're adding to the equation is how motion is involved," Baker said. "It both complicates as well as simplifies how we think about recognition. Different extents of motion can exist when you have different antigens being presented. It complicates our thinking about how diversity is presented to the immune system, yet simplifies our thinking about how diversity is accommodated by the immune system.

"Overall, we've got to consider flexibility when we think about structures in the immune system and structures in biology in general."

The static view long-favored in structural biology is shifting to a greater emphasis on protein dynamics, he says. For example, scientists have discovered that vaccines can help the immune system fight cancer, but vaccines that mimic biological structures can still fail if they do not take into account flexibility and dynamics.

"It probably will be one of the defining areas of biochemistry over the next 10 to 15 years – getting at the role of how biological molecules move and how that movement influences biology," Baker said.

Contact: Brian Baker, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, brian-baker@nd.edu, 574-631-9810 News

brian baker | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>