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:11/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Bioinformatics ... ... The global bioinformatics market is projected ... in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 21.1% during the forecast ... by the growing demand for nucleic acid and protein sequencing, increasing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 On Monday, the Department of ... to share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The ... Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add ... the United States , in order to ... imposters. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... N.J. , Dec. 8, 2016  Soligenix, ... late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing ... an unmet medical need, announced today the long-term ... with SGX942 (dusquetide), a first-in-class Innate Defense Regulator ... in head and neck cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation ...
(Date:12/8/2016)...  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: HPPI), a clinical ... to commercialize innovative therapeutics for patients with cancer, ... approved for trading on the OTCQX U.S. market. ... effective today, under the ticker symbol "HPPI." ... must meet high financial standards, follow best practice ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... South Korea , Dec. 8, 2016 ... a $21 billion KRW (US $18.9M) Series A financing. ... Kolon Investment, G.N. Tech Venture and SNU Bio Angel. ... Eutilex to 30.5 billion KRW (US $27.7M) since its ... help Eutilex to bolster the development and commercialization of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016   Biocept, Inc . (NASDAQ: ... of clinically actionable liquid biopsy tests to improve ... data featuring its Target Selectorâ„¢ Circulating Tumor Cell ... the detection of actionable biomarkers in patients with ... by Sara Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), the research ...
Breaking Biology Technology: