Navigation Links
Immune system fighters speak in patterns of proteins, prefer squishy partners
Date:10/26/2012

When talking to the key immune system fighters known as T-cells, it helps to speak their language. Now researchers from Columbia University in New York, N.Y., and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have discovered two new conditions for communication that may help scientists one day harness the power of T-cells to fight diseases such as cancer. The team will present its findings at the AVS 59th International Symposium and Exhibition, held Oct. 28 Nov. 2 in Tampa, Fla.

T-cells flow freely throughout the body and communicate with their partner T-cells, in part, through signals expressed in proteins on their surfaces. But unlike other freely circulating cells, T-cells are a bit more touchy-feely. "They stick to each other; they kind of crawl on each other," says lead researcher Lance Kam, a biomedical engineer at Columbia University. The cells spread onto each other; they put new proteins into the interface between them. And these proteins at the interface, Kam continues, "organize into some really beautiful patterns." One arrangement is shaped like a bulls-eye.

Kam's team wanted to find out whether the spacing of the proteins in these cellular tete-a-tetes plays a part in the communication process, and whether the squishiness or rigidity of the cells has any effect on the conversation. Using a custom-made artificial cell, they tested whether the real T-cells "liked" certain configurations of proteins on its surface. Not only did the team find that the spacing of the signaling proteins mattered for the proper activation of T-cells, but the rigidity of the surface mattered as well. Mouse cells like most cells preferred a more rigid surface, but human T-cells liked squishier partners.

Knowing that these two conditions figure into T-cell activation may help drug researchers design optimal T-cell habitats in which to grow huge T-cell armies to fight cancers and other diseases. While this reality is several years away, the two new findings that the team presents will help advance the harnessing of T-cells for immunotherapy. This type of cancer treatment involves removing a patient's T-cells, expanding their numbers, training them to recognize cancer cells, and re-injecting this fortified army back into the patient. Understanding what kind of partner the T-cells prefer could help to make this process more effective.

"We think that by learning more about the natural interface, the natural signals that activate the cells, we can get better control over the cell expansion process," Kam says, resulting in larger production of high-quality T-cells that can fight cancer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Meyers
cmeyers@aip.org
301-209-3088
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Chain reaction in the human immune system trapped in crystals
2. UCLA researchers discover missing link between stem cells and immune system
3. Monogamy and the immune system
4. Early activation of immune response could lead to better vaccines
5. Team receives $22.5 million to shed light on the immune system
6. Bacteria-immune system fight can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests
7. Caltech researchers find evidence of link between immune irregularities and autism
8. Controlling inflammatory and immune responses
9. TLR1 protein drives immune response to certain food-borne illness in mice
10. Researchers discover molecule in immune system that could help treat dangerous skin cancer
11. Innate immune system protein provides a new target in war against bacterial infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... 2016 This BCC Research report provides an ... RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the years 2015, ... and reagents, data analysis, and services. Use ... RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and reagents, RNA-Sequencing ... affecting each segment and forecast their market growth, future ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... RALEIGH, N.C. , March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biometric sensor technology, today announced it has secured ... led by GII Tech, a new venture fund ... LLC, with additional participation from existing investors TDF ... use the funds to continue its triple-digit growth ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... SOTO, Kansas , March 3, 2016 ... Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood test to aid ... cancer Early CDT®-Lung test to its clients ... Early CDT®-Lung test to its clients which include ... a leader in early cancer detection, today announced a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... ... Mr. Palmer created the RPO business for Ceridian and lead the Public ... contract in the U.S. intelligence community with The SI (a Lockheed Martin divestiture). , ... of Accolo. “We are growing and his experience guiding our expansion is unparalleled. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... announced receipt of a significant operating grant from 1Plus12 Corporation. The grant will ... commence pre-proposal activities as outlined on the organization's website http://www.ivsci.org , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... The ... of its first round of pre-proposal competition for scientific grants. , The IVS ... identify ideas with the highest potential to replace paradigms that have outlived their ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... Board member, will be the keynote speaker at the Asia-Pacific Symposium in Santiago Chile, ... of stem cells in regenerative medicine is increasingly being understood to be effected through ...
Breaking Biology Technology: