The formation of the complex activated a signal transduction pathway in the cell which ended with production of the messenger substance interleukin 1β. This vital "global player" of the immune system is responsible for the onset of fever as a defense mechanism against pathogens, but also has a role in autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In order to confirm their results, the researchers then used cells containing either no Rad50 or no CARD9, and again introduced DNA into their cytoplasm. Both cell types then produced far less interleukin 1β, as the Rad50-CARD9 complex could not be formed in order to activate the alarm system.
"Too much or too little of IL-1β can lead to a defective immune response or chronic disease, so its production must be strictly regulated by the body", explains Jrgen Ruland. "Now that we know Rad50 and CARD9 are important triggers for the alarm system and IL-1β production, we can gain a better understanding of many immune responses and develop strategies to influence them therapeutically."
|Contact: Vera Siegler|
Technische Universitaet Muenchen