Drawing on lab experiments and computer studies, Johns Hopkins researchers have learned how a common protein delivers its warning message to cells when an infectious agent invades the body. The findings are important because this biological intruder alarm causes the bodys immune system to leap into action to fight the infection. Learning more about how this process works, the researchers said, could lead to better treatments for diseases that occur when the immune system overreacts or pays too little attention to the infection alarm.
When a white blood cell detects a bacterial intruder, it sounds the alarm by releasing a protein called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. TNF sends a message from the surface of a neighboring cell to its nucleus, instructing it to activate genes to combat the infection. Inside the cell, the message is passed along the NF-kappaB pathway. Along the way, the warning message is processed by a molecule called Inhibitor of KappaB Kinase, or IKK. Diagram prepared by Raymond Cheong
Collaborating with colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, the Johns Hopkins researchers have used their discoveries to develop a new computer model that could help produce medications for immune system-related ailments including septic shock, cancer, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Their findings, which focused on how a large protein molecule called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, triggers an immune response, were reported in the February issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Phil Sneiderman | EurekAlert!
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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