University of British Columbia researchers have discovered the molecular pathway that enables receptors inside immune cells to find, and flag, fragments of pathogens trying to invade a host.
The discovery of the role played by the molecule CD74 could help immunologists investigate treatments that offer better immune responses against cancers, viruses and bacteria, and lead to more efficient vaccines.
The findings are published in this week's edition of Nature Immunology.
"This could ultimately lead to a blueprint for improving the performance of a variety of vaccines, including those against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria," says UBC biologist Wilfred Jefferies, whose lab conducted the study. "This detailed understanding of the role of CD74 may also begin to explain differences in immune responses between individuals that could impact personalized medical options in the future."
CD74 is an important piece of cellular machinery inside dendritic cells – which regulate mammalian primary immune responses. Dendritic cells possess specialized pathways that enable them to sense and then respond to foreign threats. Until now no one has been able to piece together the circuitry which enables a cellular receptor – Major Histocompatability Class I (MHC I) – inside the cells to find and 'collide' with foreign invaders.
The key finding of this work is the discovery of the guiding role played by CD74 to link MHC I receptors to compartments containing invading pathogens within the immune cell. This sophisticated circuit allows the immune cell to recognize and signal the presence of a pathogen in the body and to alert T immune fighter cells. The T-cells respond by dividing and attacking infected cells, destroying the pathogen.
Jefferies' team used 'knock-out' mice that had been genetically modified to lack the CD74 function to uncover the role of the molecule. The team--which includes research associate Genc Basha, postdoctoral fellow Anna Reinicke, graduate students Kyla Omilusik and Ana Chavez-Steenbock1, undergraduate student Nathan Lack, and technician Kyung Bok Choi –then confirmed their findings using biochemical analysis.
Jefferies is a professor with UBC's departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Zoology, and Medical Genetics and with UBC's Michael Smith Laboratories and Biomedical Research Centre. He is also a member of the Centre for Blood Research and the Brain Research Centre at UBC.
The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
The Nature Immunology study is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni.2225
Wilfred Jefferies | EurekAlert!
Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics
19.04.2018 | University of Tokyo
Full of hot air and proud of it
18.04.2018 | University of Pittsburgh
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy