Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New role for immune system player may help improve cancer vaccines

01.11.2002


Researchers have discovered that a molecule best known for its anti-microbial properties also has the ability to activate key cells in the immune response. This newly discovered function, reported in the Nov. 1, 2002, issue of Science*, suggests the molecule, a peptide called ß-defensin 2, may be useful in the development of more effective cancer vaccines. Scientists have found that ß-defensin 2 initiates a chain of events leading to the growth and multiplication of T cells, components of the immune system that recognize and kill foreign cells that have invaded the body.



Defensins are known to be an important component of the body’s immediate response to infection. ß-defensin 2 attacks and destroys a broad range of bacteria as part of the innate immune system, the body’s first line of defense against such infections.

The new finding links ß-defensin 2 to the second arm of the immune system, adaptive immunity. The adaptive immune response combats pathogens that evade the body’s initial defense mechanisms. Unlike innate immunity, the adaptive immune system develops specifically in response to an infection, changing as needed to ward off each invader.


"This link between the innate and adaptive immune systems is important for our understanding of the body’s ability to detect infection," said Arya Biragyn, Ph.D., National Cancer Institute (NCI) staff scientist and first author of the study. "ß-defensin 2 is likely to play an important role in the immune system’s ability to recognize protein fragments from the body’s own cells, including tumor cells."

Working in both mice and laboratory cell cultures, Biragyn and his colleagues found that ß-defensin 2 directly activates immune cells known as dendritic cells. Once activated, dendritic cells interact with other components of the immune system to stimulate the multiplication of a subset of T cells that will recognize and destroy infected cells. Dendritic cells can also trigger attack of tumor cells by the immune system.

"When we administered ß-defensin 2 to mice, we observed a robust response among cells involved in anti-tumor immunity," noted NCI’s Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D., the senior investigator on the study. Researchers hope to take advantage of this property by incorporating ß-defensin 2 into cancer vaccines.

Cancer vaccines are an investigational therapy designed to program the body’s own immune system to attack a tumor. The vaccine does this by training T cells to recognize cancerous cells. Scientists hope that adding ß-defensin 2 to such vaccines will promote the growth and multiplication of the tumor-destroying cells, improving patient response to the therapy.

Similarly, researchers hope that ß-defensin 2 will also be useful in improving AIDS vaccines in the future.

NCI Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cancer.gov
http://www.nci.nih.gov/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>