Navigation Links
Notre Dame study focuses on protein dynamics

A discovery by associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Brian Baker and his research group at the University of Notre Dame reveals the importance of dynamic motion by proteins involved in the body's immune response. Results of the study were published in Immunity, the leading research journal in the field of immunology.

Scientists have long known that receptors on the immune system's T-cells are important for discovering and destroying cells that are infected with viruses or other pathogens. Baker's group studied cross-reactivity, the ability of different T-cell receptors which number perhaps a few hundred million in the body to recognize the vastly larger number of possible antigens produced by other cells. The process is important for dealing with viruses, cancers, autoimmunity, transplant rejection and other issues related to the immune system.

Most past studies considered the receptors on each cell as static components, but in fact the molecules move and adopt multiple structures. Baker's group found that the success or failure of the T-cell receptor to attach to a target cell's antigen involves complex movements in search of a compatible final structure. Different antigens produce different kinds of motion.

"What we're adding to the equation is how motion is involved," Baker said. "It both complicates as well as simplifies how we think about recognition. Different extents of motion can exist when you have different antigens being presented. It complicates our thinking about how diversity is presented to the immune system, yet simplifies our thinking about how diversity is accommodated by the immune system.

"Overall, we've got to consider flexibility when we think about structures in the immune system and structures in biology in general."

The static view long-favored in structural biology is shifting to a greater emphasis on protein dynamics, he says. For example, scientists have discovered that vaccines can help the immune system fight cancer, but vaccines that mimic biological structures can still fail if they do not take into account flexibility and dynamics.

"It probably will be one of the defining areas of biochemistry over the next 10 to 15 years getting at the role of how biological molecules move and how that movement influences biology," Baker said.


Contact: brian baker
University of Notre Dame

Related biology news :

1. Notre Dame researchers describe new tool for evaluating managed relocations
2. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
3. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
4. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
5. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
6. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
7. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
8. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
9. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
10. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
11. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)... On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security ... solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for ... (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to ... United States , in order to deter visa ... Logo - ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. ... years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... --  EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, today ... from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow ... drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab ... been an incredible strategic partner to us – one ... provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , EpiBiome,s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: