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T cells rely on 'rheostat' to help ensure that the immune response matches the threat
Date:4/30/2013

n. This study showed that T cells with fewer functional ITAMs produced less c-Myc than T cells with their full complement of 10 ITAMs regardless of the strength of the bond.

The findings reflect advances in imaging technology that allowed researchers to detect molecular interactions at the nanoscale level, said the paper's first author Clifford Guy, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Vignali's laboratory. A nanometer is one trillionth of a meter. The technology used in this study meant scientists could track how the number of functional ITAMs affected the ability of Vav1 and Notch1 to interact to within 30 to 50 nanometers, less than one-quarter the width of a human hair.

"This suggests that much like a rheostat controls the intensity of a lamp, ITAMs regulate how T cells respond to external threats, allowing them to scale the size of the response according to the size of the perceived threat," Guy said.


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Contact: Summer Freeman
summer.freeman@stjude.org
901-595-3061
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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