Immunotherapy refers to a collection of treatments based upon the concept of modulating the immune system to achieve a prophylactic and/or therapeutic goal.
For example, inducing immune suppression could dampen an abnormal immune response in autoimmune diseases or could reduce a normal immune response to prevent rejection of transplanted organs or cells. Regulatory T cells are an important part of the immune system and can play a suppressive role, but naturally occur in low numbers.
Michael Albert and colleagues from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, describe a unique strategy that facilitates the induction of regulatory T cells ex vivo with subsequent expansion to numbers adequate for immunotherapy. Using an inexpensive, fast and simple high-yield method they generated regulatory T cells from small amounts of peripheral blood which, potentially, could be transferred back into a patient enabling a clinically desired immune suppression.
“Feasible protocols to provide large amounts of regulatory T cells are in great demand”, said Andy Saxon”, the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Immunology (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/yclim), “this article describes a relative simple but exciting method which can be used in clinical settings such as transplantation”.
Floris de Hon | alfa
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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.
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