Navigation Links
Cell survival protein discovery rewrites immune system story
Date:10/7/2010

A discovery by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers in Melbourne, Australia, reported in today's edition of Science, is set to rewrite a long-held belief about how the body's immune system establishes its memory.

The findings of Dr Ingela Vikstrom and Associate Professor David Tarlinton, from the institute's Immunology division, centre on immune cells called B cells that produce the antibodies which fight infection.

"B cells and antibody production are the key to the success of all currently used vaccines for immunity in humans," said Associate Professor Tarlinton. "It is therefore critical that we continue to develop our knowledge of the molecular interactions that lead to immune function, which are still only vaguely understood."

Memory B cells are essential for the long-lived immunity that arises after immunisation. To develop into memory cells, B cells have to survive the natural process of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, that occurs following a large immune response.

Associate Professor Tarlinton and Dr Vikstrom study the so-called pro-survival proteins that regulate B cell survival and are therefore responsible for instructing these cells whether to live or die.

Dr Vikstrom said that B cell memory arises in temporary cellular structures called germinal centres that develop in response to activation of the immune system.

"We used genetic and pharmacological methods to identify which pro-survival molecules were essential for the process of 'instructing' these cells to establish germinal centres, as well as instructing activated B cells to proliferate and differentiate into memory B cells," Dr Vikstrom said.

"We studied two well-known pro-survival proteins called Bcl-xL and Mcl-1, which we knew were involved in the process. It surprised us to find that, contrary to popular belief, Mcl-1 is the essential pro-survival protein required for creation and maintenance of B cell memory."

The finding contradicts the widely accepted theory in immunology circles that Bcl-xL is the major pro-survival protein responsible for sustaining the development of memory B cells.

The findings build on a paper Associate Professor Tarlinton and Dr Vikstrom published earlier this year in Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, with institute researchers Dr Andrew Lew and Dr Emma Carrington. Using a molecule that blocked the action of Bcl-xL, the study revealed that Bcl-xL was not necessary for the development of germinal centres and memory B cells, indicating that another pro-survival protein now shown to be Mcl-1 was the key to survival.

Mcl-1 is known to be an important survival protein for cancers. Associate Professor Tarlinton said the discovery could have repercussions for cancer treatment, as cancerous cells often arise from unregulated cell growth caused by defects in the apoptotic pathway. It could also have implications for the treatment of autoimmune disease and inhibiting transplant rejection.

"All cells have the potential to undergo apoptosis, so developing our understanding of the major proteins responsible for this process will have applications to all cell types in the body," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Penny Fannin
fannin@wehi.edu.au
61-393-452-345
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Vaccine extends glioblastoma patients survival in phase II trial
2. Duke vaccine extends survival for patients with deadly brain cancers
3. Why do some dialysis centers have higher survival rates?
4. Addition of immunotherapy boosts pediatric cancer survival in children with neuroblastoma
5. MD Anderson study finds increases in 5-, 10-year survival at every stage of breast cancer
6. UT MD Anderson study finds women treated for breast cancer while pregnant have improved survival
7. Surgery offers long-term survival for early stage prostate cancer patients
8. UC Davis study finds low liver cancer survival rates among Laotian/Hmong-Americans
9. Neonatal intensive care units critical to infant survival
10. Lung cancer survival rates improved through use of individualized chemotherapy
11. Trial Therapy Improves Melanoma Survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cell survival protein discovery rewrites immune system story
(Date:5/1/2016)... ... 01, 2016 , ... ProBrand Reveal Volume 2 is a set of versatile and smooth logo ... keyframeless animations, users can easily create a unique logo reveal in just a matter of ... presets. Use these title presets to add a uniquely animated logo to any photos or ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... Radio with Hypnotherapist, Mary O'Maley. What is hypnosis and hypnotherapy and why ... smoking, weight control), pain relief (chronic and acute), birthing processes and medical procedures, ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... , ... well is a challenge for all of us, but there are things we can do to ... “Research is showing more and more that there are simple, yet important steps that can ... age.” Top priorities Dr. Kohli’s recommends for her patients include;, , exercise ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Since launching its annual volunteer ... serving the footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first ... 23 states during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... The American workforce is on everyone’s ... Most importantly, employees are the single most important asset in creating value and ... , Just under half of American workers are emotionally checked out with low ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Research ... "Global Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to ... ) , The global plastic surgery products ... 9.47% during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption ... to the growth of the market. Lasers are used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)...  The blood testing market in China ... Information and The Freedonia Group in a recent report.  ... The healthcare research firm said that China ... stations and in improving testing at the provincial level.  ... Blood Testing Market in China , which ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... phen Schmidt Join the Growing ... solutions for life sciences, today announced key new leaders have joined ... to a growing business.  This will bolster the company,s safety business ... joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice President - Safety. George ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: