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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing ... M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing ... Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first ... eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance ... Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes ... each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related ... the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in three ... Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October ... US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased ... scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each ... leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March ...
Breaking Biology Technology: