Navigation Links
UT Southwestern researchers develop screening test for cells that activate immune system

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are the first to create a large-scale, cell-based screening method that identifies which compounds activate immune-response cells that hold promise for future cancer-fighting vaccines.

The new screening technique can scan thousands and even millions of compounds to identify those that activate dendritic cells, which are on constant recon patrol throughout the body to scout out cancerous or infected cells and alert the immune system.

"Our assay is unique from other conventional ones in its sensitivity and cost- and time-efficiency," said Dr. Akira Takashima, professor of dermatology and vice chairman for research and head of the project.

Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered key to developing future vaccines that can either mimic the body's natural immune response or turn on immune responses that failed - due, for example, to cancer or an immune deficiency.

The team, which also included Dr. Norikatsu Mitzumoto, assistant professor of dermatology and the study's lead author, and Drs. Hironori Matsushima and Hiroaki Tanaka, postdoctoral researchers in dermatology, created the cell-based biosensor system.

"We basically engineered DCs to express a fluorescent signal only when sensing activation signals so that you can identify immuno-stimulatory agents very easily," said Dr. Takashima. Immuno-stimulatory agents launch the immune system.

The research appears on Blood magazine's online Web site and will appear in a future issue.

"We have optimized the high-throughput screening capability - an experienced scientist can now test one thousand chemicals a day almost single-handedly," added Dr. Mizumoto. Previously, scientists would have to test each compound individually, a time-consuming process.

Their research already has led to the discovery of several compounds that turn on dendritic cells, which are found throughout the body from skin to blood. They continuously scan t he body at the cellular level looking for antigens - foreign cells and materials invading the body - and for molecular signatures of tissue damage or infection.

"Their primary job is to present antigens to the immune system so that you develop protective immunity for infection and cancer," said Dr. Takashima.

The DC biosensor system should help pharmaceutical and biotech companies sift through large numbers of chemicals for ones that tell the dendritic cells to launch the immune response. It may also prove useful in identifying biothreat agents because it detects infectious pathogens with high sensitivity.

Dr. Takashima said he hopes to garner additional funding to discover potent immuno-stimulatory drugs by screening high-quality libraries of compounds.

Doing so may be the first step toward developing a new class of vaccines that force or trick the natural immune system to kick on, or initiate an immune response that can be copied and initiated artificially.

Other UT Southwestern researchers from dermatology involved in the study were Dr. Yasushi Ogawa, postdoctoral researcher, and Dr. Jimin Gao, former instructor.


Source:UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern researchers discover master switch in cell death
2. UT Southwestern researchers unravel control of growing blood vessels
3. DNA end caps may lead to cancer treatments, UT Southwestern researchers report
4. UT Southwestern researchers find gene mutation that leads to broken hearts
5. Napoleons mysterious death unmasked, UT Southwestern researcher says
6. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
7. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
8. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
9. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
10. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
11. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its ... Summits will run alongside the expo portion of the ... panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D ... design and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized ... solutions, today announced that it has been awarded ... Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack ... "Innovation has been a driving force within ... will allow us to innovate and develop new ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced the ... which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will address ... enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education programs ... to help women who have been diagnosed and are being ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A ... pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer ... age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) ... all uses of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, ... security market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main ... "The residential security market has experienced continued ...
Breaking Biology Technology: