Navigation Links
Flick of a protein switches immune response

A single protein can turn on and off a key component of the immune system by changing partners in an elegant genomic dance, said researchers at the University of Southern California and Harvard Medical School.

Because autoimmune diseases ?such as arthritis, allergies and dozens of other illnesses ?begin when the body's defenses respond at the wrong time or place, the on-off mechanism for the immune system has been the subject of intense study for decades.

The USC-Harvard team studied proteins critical to immune tolerance, a term for the healthy balance between a weak immune system and an overly aggressive, indiscriminate watchdog.

Lin Chen, professor of molecular and computational biology at USC and lead co-author with Harvard's Anjana Rao, said the team's result would "open a big door for people to explain the fundamental mechanism of immune tolerance."

In the July 28 issue of Cell, the USC-Harvard group shows that the protein Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells (NFAT), in collaboration with FOXP3, an essential factor in regulatory T cells, orchestrates a genetic program critical to immune tolerance.

But the same NFAT, paired with a second family of proteins known as AP-1, instead stimulates immune response.

Chen said the finding offers the first strong evidence in favor of the 15-year-old "combinatorial control" theory of gene expression.

According to the theory, the specific expression of a gene depends on the combination of "transcription factors" acting on it. Transcription factors help to translate a gene's instructions into actual proteins. FOXP3 and NFAT are two such factors; the human body contains around 3,000.

"The work provides a structural demonstration of combinatorial control of gene expression," Chen said. "This is, in my view, the most direct demonstration that this is indeed happening in nature."

The researchers were able to identify single genes that were activated by NFAT in combination with AP-1 and suppressed by NFAT with FOXP3.

Beyond shedding light on the immune system, the Cell paper may advance biology and medicine toward a much larger goal: how to turn single genes on or off.

"This [result] has far-reaching implications for understanding the principles of signal transduction and transcriptional networks of living cells," Chen said.

The Cell paper, which Chen describes as spanning 14 years of laboratory work, builds on a result his group published in Nature in 1998.


'"/>

Source:University of Southern California


Related biology news :

1. Flick of whiskers helps tease out brains shadow signaling system
2. New, automated tool successfully classifies and relates proteins in unprecedented way
3. New binding target for oncogenic viral protein
4. Controversial drug shown to act on brain protein to cut alcohol use
5. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
6. UWs Rosetta software to unlock secrets of many human proteins
7. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
8. Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
9. Ancient olfaction protein is shared by many bugs, offering new pest control target
10. Automatic extraction of gene/protein biological functions from biomedical text
11. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/29/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , Nov. 29, 2016 ... high-precision biometric identification and object recognition technologies, ... kit (SDK) for fingerprint recognition solutions that ... extract a fingerprint template using less than ... used in compact devices that have limited ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... According to the new market research report "Biometric System Market by ... Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), Application, and Region - ... grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to reach USD 32.73 Billion ... Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... LONDON , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market ... and Public Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market ... Geographical analysis for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual ... Asia-Pacific region during the analysis period 2014-2020. ... a CAGR of 9.95% followed by Europe ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: SQIDF), today reported its ... ended September 30, 2016. ... , SQI is a ... develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for advanced multiplexed diagnostics. ... $1.4 million more than tripling prior years revenue. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... integrator of custom industrial automation and IT solutions, today announced the company has ... has reliably delivered professionally executed automation and control systems integration services to leading ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Creative Medical Technology ... , MD, PhD, FANA, FAAN to the Company,s Scientific ... and clinical trials to assist the Company,s clinical development ... AmnioStem product is a universal donor stem cell derived ... in animal models of stroke 1 .  ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , ... December 06, 2016 ... ... “Company”), a company focused on discovery and development of precision treatments for ... is developing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic effect of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: