Christopher Cairo and his team are studying how one critical trigger for the body's T cell response is switched on. Cairo looked at the molecule known as CD45 and its function in T cells. The activation of CD45 is part of a chain of events that allows the body to produce T cells that target an infection and, just as importantly, shut down overactive T cells that could lead to damage.
Cairo and his team are using nanotechnology to study how individual molecules interact in live cells. The method allows them to view the movement of these molecules at nanometre scale, so they can "see" the molecular interaction. To see the movement of a protein, researchers labeled the molecules with nanoparticles and then observed the particles using a microscope. This study is the first to analyze CD45 this way, but the most important advance is their observation of how CD45 interacts with other molecules in the cell to carry out its function.
The team found that CD45 is tethered to the cell cytoskeleton, a meshwork of proteins that gives the cell its shape and structure. They also observed how particular proteins hold CD45 onto the cytoskeleton.
"It's one thing to observe molecular binding in a test tube," said Cairo. "It's quite another to see how the process happens in a live cell." Cairo says a better understanding of the immune regulator CD45 could eventually lead researchers to a point where they can use it as a way to control T cells.
"You could imagine that if you knew when CD45 was turned on or how each molecular partner helps it work, you might be able to take advantage of that and design an inhibitor," said Cairo. "Of course, that's a long way off; at this point, we're trying to understand the molecular mechanisms involved."
The study was a multidisciplinary effort. In addition to the Cairo group at the U of A, teams led by mathematician Dan Coombs (University of British Columbia), biochemist Jon Morrow (Yale University Medical School) and biophysicist David Golan (Harvard Medical School) all contributed to the study.
The work of Cairo and co-authors is in the April edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Brian Murphy | EurekAlert!
Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)
CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
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...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy