Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Process controlling T cell growth and production identified

05.05.2009
Identifying one of the processes that plays a role in naïve and memory T-cells' growth and production could one day lead to better vaccines and possibly more effective cancer immunotherapy, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in a report that appears in the current edition of Nature Immunology.

In previous work, Dr. Daniel Lacorazza, assistant professor of pathology at BCM, along with his research team, identified a transcription factor, ELF4, which regulates blood stem cells. A transcription factor is a protein that regulates how genes are translated into a form that leads to the making of the proteins associated with them.

"We knew ELF4 played a role in maintaining T cells," said Lacorazza, who is the principal investigator of the current study. "What we discovered was that ELF4 activates an inhibitor that leads to cell arrest, stopping naive T cells from proliferation."

A population of naïve CD8 T-cell is always circulating in the body and maintained at a constant level. Memory T cells are created when naïve CD8 T cells are activated to fight intracellular pathogens such as viruses or bacteria. The fight against infections prompts creation of memory T cells that then "remember" antigens or proteins found on cells infected with viruses or bacteria. In the future when same infections arise, memory T-cell enhances the body's ability to fight them.

Lacorazza and his research team focused on how ELF4 affected the process of inhibiting proliferation of CD8 T cells. Using mice generated to lack ELF4, researchers found that CD8 T-cells grew over time and acquired a "memory phenotype" without being exposed to any type of infections. At the same time, they determined that expression of the tumor suppressor gene called KLF4 was reduced in these mice.

"We discovered that ELF4 directly activates the tumor suppressor KLF4, which signals cell cycle arrest in naïve CD8 T cells," Lacorazza said. "This inhibitory process is important to T cells because it stops them from proliferating out of control." Cell cycle arrest means the cells do not go through the normal events of their life cycles: growth, replication and division. The description of cell intrinsic regulation of quiescence in normal T cells will provide insights on the pathobiology of lymphoid malignancies.

The researchers then immunized mice deficient for ELF4 to test their immune response. These mice had a larger memory T cell response, indicating that the absence of ELF4 eliminated control over the proliferation of CD8 T cells.

"If we can control ELF4 activation during vaccination, we can enhance long-term immune response, making a vaccine more effective," Lacorazza said.

"We could enhance in vitro T cell activation of T cells extracted from patients to heighten immune response", said Lacorazza. "In addition, a future line of study is to determine whether deletion of KLF4 expands pre-leukemic clones leading to overt leukemia in pediatric patients".

Lacorazza said these are still hypotheses, but understanding the process that controls T cell proliferation will help in future research.

Other researchers who were a part of the study include Takeshi Yamada and Chun Shik Park, both postdoctoral associates in the Pathology Department at BCM, and Maksim Mamonkin, graduate student in the Department of Immunology at BCM.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the Curtis Hankamer Basic Research Fund (Junion-Faculty Seed Award) and a pilot project of the Dan Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.

For more information on basic science research at Baylor College of Medicine, please go to www.bcm.edu/news or www.bcm.edu/fromthelab.

Graciela Gutierrez | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu
http://www.nature.com/ni
http://www.bcm.edu/findings

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>