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Immune cell communication key to hunting viruses, Jefferson immunologists show

ace of T-cells with receptors recognizing the viral-MHC complex, the control ?a biosensor that carried the same MHC protein with a different peptide not recognized by the T- cells ?unexpectedly also binded almost as strongly. "When we have such an arrangement of MHC proteins, we were able to see something no one had seen before ?a very strong contribution of non-viral peptide-MHC interaction with a co-receptor," he says. "Such cooperativity we think can be achieved when MHC complexes are close to each other.

"We've shown that when we try to mimic the positioning of MHC protein on quantum dots, which we believe is similar to what it is on the cell membrane, we have this very strong binding. An important message is that a single virus-MHC complex recognized in the context of self-MHC complexes is sufficient to activate a T-cell response, which is amazing," he says. "That's the power of killer cells.

"We always suspected that recognition of other peptide MHCs, like self-peptide MHCs derived from normal proteins, could facilitate recognition, but it was not clear until now how this happened." Dr. Sykulev notes that this finding is not only relevant to viral infected cells, but to tumor cells as well. Both usually express very low levels of proteins that killer cells recognize.
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Source:Thomas Jefferson University


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