Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

IRCM scientist demonstrates basic active mechanism of immune-system cells

17.11.2004


Major breakthrough in the treatment of autoimmune diseases



In the upcoming issue of Immunity, a highly regarded journal put out by the Cell group, Dr. André Veillette, a scientist at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), and his team will publish the results of a study that could revolutionize the treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as juvenile diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Contemporary medicine has to date achieved only mixed results in dealing with these diseases, which affect hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

Dr. Veillette’s team has discovered one of the basic mechanisms that control the production of antibodies by immune-system cells known as B lymphocytes or B cells. In subjects with autoimmune diseases, these lymphocytes, which are also normally responsible for fighting infection, are hyperactive, causing antibodies secreted by superactivated lymphocytes to turn against the body. This leads to the development of autoimmune diseases, which are characterized by debilitating inflammation and advanced tissue damage. Dr. Veillette’s breakthrough identifies a cascade of molecular reactions involved in this type of damage, providing new therapeutic targets that could be used to reduce attacks on the pancreas in juvenile diabetes, on the kidneys in lupus, and on the joints in rheumatoid arthritis.


This publication is a major milestone for Dr. Veillette, an internationally recognized expert on the identification of molecular mechanisms that control the immune response. Initial findings were published in Nature Immunology in 2001, followed by an article in Nature Cell Biology in 2003. The article slated for publication in the November 2004 issue of Immunity provides genetic evidence of the importance of the molecular mechanism discovered by Dr. Veillette’s team.

More precisely, this discovery links three elements: a receptor (or "sensor") located on the surface of the lymphocytes, known as SLAM; an adaptive protein (or "molecular relay") located in the cell, known as SAP; and FynT, an enzyme that is also located within the cell. Using mice with genetically mutated SLAM, SAP or FynT proteins, Dr. Veillette provided evidence of the importance of links among the three proteins. It should also be noted that SAP protein mutations occur in humans, causing a fatal immune dysfunction known as "X-linked lymphoproliferation" (XLP). Dr. Veillette’s discovery paves the way for the development of SLAM, SAP or FynT inhibitors, which could block excessive immune responses observed in patients with autoimmune diseases.

François Brochu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ircm.qc.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>