Navigation Links
Immune cell discovery could help to halt cancer spread
Date:8/14/2014

Melbourne researchers have revealed the critical importance of highly specialised immune cells, called natural killer cells, in killing melanoma cells that have spread to the lungs.

These natural killer cells could be harnessed to hunt down and kill cancers that have spread in the body.

The team, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, also found natural killer cells were critical to the body's rejection of donor bone marrow transplants and in the runaway immune response during toxic shock syndrome.

The discoveries came after the team showed that a protein called MCL-1 was crucial for survival of natural killer cells, in research published today in the journal Nature Communications. The discovery will help to determine how natural killer cells can be manipulated to fight cancers and other disorders.

Dr Nick Huntington, Dr Priyanka Sathe and Ms Rebecca Delconte from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said MCL-1 could be a target for boosting or depleting natural killer cell populations to treat disease. Natural killer cells are immune predators, scouring the body in search of foreign invaders such as viruses, and sensing changes in our own cells that are associated with cancer.

Dr Huntington said the team showed natural killer cells were needed to fight off invading tumour cells that had spread past the original cancer site.

"We discovered MCL-1 is absolutely essential for keeping natural killer cells alive," Dr Huntington said. "Without natural killer cells, the body was unable to destroy melanoma metastases that had spread throughout the body, and the cancers overwhelmed the lungs".

"Knowing how important natural killer cells are for detecting and destroying cancer cells as they spread suggests they would be a good target for boosting immune defenses to treat cancer."

Natural killer cells are present in high frequency in our blood and patrol the body's 'frontlines' the lungs, intestines, mucous membranes and skin to detect and destroy diseased cells. However these predatory natural killer cells are a double-edged sword.

Dr Huntington said the team showed natural killer cells also played a role in death from toxic shock (sepsis), and in rejecting bone marrow transplants.

"Natural killer cells led the response that caused rejection of donor stem cells in bone marrow transplantations," Dr Huntington said. "They also produced inflammatory signals that can result in toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal illness caused by bacterial toxins that causes a whole-body inflammatory reaction."

Dr Huntington said the discovery provided a solid lead to look for ways of boosting natural killer cells when they are needed in higher supply, or depleting them when they are causing illness.

"We showed MCL-1 levels inside the cell increase in response to a blood cell signalling protein called interleukin 15 (IL-15). We previously knew IL-15 boosted production and survival of natural killer cells, and we have shown that IL-15 does this by initiating a cascade of signals that tell the natural killer cell to produce MCL-1 to keep it alive."

"Now that we know the critical importance of MCL-1 in the survival of natural killer cells, we are investigating how we might manipulate this protein, or other proteins in the pathway, to treat disease," Dr Huntington said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Liz Williams
williams@wehi.edu.au
61-428-034-089
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. MedImmune Announces Winners of Its 6th Annual Global Abstract Competition
2. Immune Design Corp. Appoints Wayne R. Gombotz, Ph.D. as Chief Development Officer
3. MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
4. Argos Therapeutic Arcelis™ Immunotherapy AGS-003 in Combination With Sunitinib Shows Statistically Significant Correlation of Immune System Response to Overall Survival in Phase 2 Study in Patients with Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)
5. Discovery in Nature elucidates immune cells in skin and supports novel vaccine approach
6. IGY Immune Technology & Life Sciences Purchases Manufacturing Facility to Produce Purified Immunoglobulin Y (IgY)
7. Immune Deficiency Foundation Urges FDA To Exempt Immunoglobulin From Biosimilars Pathway
8. Peer-reviewed Article Reports ProImmune's Immune Formulation 200® Activates the Immune-Support Gene Nrf2.
9. Genalyte Launches Maverick ENA Kits For Fast, Easy And Accurate Multiplexed Autoimmune Testing
10. AllCells Introduces Autoimmune Diseased Cells and Tissue Products
11. Novel Cancer Immune Therapy Developer Oncos Therapeutics Appoints Experienced Industry Leader Frans Wuite as President and CEO
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Immune cell discovery could help to halt cancer spread
(Date:8/17/2017)... ... August 17, 2017 , ... CNA Finance ... had provided a research update on Aytu Bioscience and cited promising increases in ... to Soulstring, prescription rates for Natesto® have more than doubled since March of ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced today ... the ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo , to be held October 29 through ... theme is “Driving innovation to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE Annual Meeting and ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Recent studies show that ... treatments for specific cancers, such as breast, prostate, or lung, target vital pathways ... therapy for advanced prostate cancer. , This therapy limits the production and ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Today, ... it has secured $2M in funding from an impressive group of investors, including ... SVG Thrive Fund. With this investment, 3Bar is broadening availability of its groundbreaking ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... LOS ANGELES , March 30, 2017  On ... Hack the Genome hackathon at ... This exciting two-day competition will focus on developing health ... experience. Hack the Genome is ... has been tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):