Navigation Links
Leicester scientists map structure of key complex in the immune system
Date:11/4/2013

Leicester scientists have mapped the "bouquet-like" structure of a key part of the body's immune system responsible for neutralising bacteria and viruses.

A team from the University of Leicester's Departments of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation and Biochemistry led a project which has mapped the structure of complement component C1 - a large complex of the immune system.

The C1 complex is a protein which is responsible for spotting foreign agents in the blood which can cause disease - known as pathogens.

When it comes across bacteria, viruses, fungi and other objects, it sets off a process called the complement system.

This stimulates the body's immune system including the activation of membrane attack complex (MAC) proteins which attack and kill the foreign cells.

Although the C1 complex was first identified more than 50 years ago, the way it works has been poorly understood until now.

The three-year project was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Working with colleagues at Warwick Medical School, the University of California, San Diego, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, the Leicester researchers have revealed the constituent parts which make up the C1 complex.

This is extremely useful for helping us understand our own immune system - and could help us develop treatments to prevent the complement system from going wrong.

In some instances - including following a heart attack or stroke - the complement system attacks our own tissues, preventing the body from recovering.

Understanding the structure of the C1 complex could help scientists develop inhibitors to prevent the complement system from working against us in these cases.

The research reveals how the C1 complex is formed from constituent parts called C1q - the subcomponent responsible for recognising targets - and C1r and C1s, which activate further developments in the complement process.

Dr Russell Wallis, of the University of Leicester's Departments of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and Biochemistry, who led the project, said: "We have determined the structure of part of a large complex (called complement component C1) of the immune system. It recognises pathogens and neutralises them by triggering a reaction pathway called complement.

"Our study reveals for the first time how the complex is assembled from its constituent proteins and suggests how it activates the complement cascade.

"We were able to piece together the structure of the full-size complex from the structures of a series of overlapping segments. It looks like a bouquet of flowers. Our study has shown how the C1q, C1r and C1s proteins fit together.

"This finding helps us to understand how the immune system prevents disease and over the longer term may facilitate the development of new therapeutics.

"For example, the complement system attacks our own tissues in a number of disease states such as following a heart attack or stroke. Under these circumstances, use of inhibitors of complement could prevent this damage from occurring and allow the body to recover."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Russ Wallis
rw73@le.ac.uk
01-162-525-089
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New £340,000 investment into asthma and allergy research at University of Leicester
2. Neuroscientists determine how treatment for anxiety disorders silences fear neurons
3. Scientists capture most detailed picture yet of key AIDS protein
4. NIH-funded scientists reveal structure of HIV protein key to cell entry
5. Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often
6. Scientists modify Botox for the treatment of pain
7. UNC neuroscientists discover new mini-neural computer in the brain
8. New Genetic Error in Some Lung Cancers Identified by CU Scientists
9. CNIO scientists reduce progression of one of the most aggressive skin cancers in mice
10. Chicago Public High School Students to Rub Shoulders with Scientists from Around the World
11. NIH scientists pursue new therapies to improve rare disease drug development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/24/2020)... CITY (PRWEB) , ... January 24, 2020 , ... ... as one of the Healthiest Employers of Utah in 2019. , PRMI ... organizations that prioritize their employees’ health. The program analyzes companies’ adoption of programs ...
(Date:1/24/2020)... ... January 24, 2020 , ... SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener, the ... best-selling nutrition author Jorge Cruise to educate consumers on losing weight through better ... advocate of intermittent fasting, that is fat burning and boosting your energy, and ...
(Date:1/23/2020)... ... ... SignatureCare Emergency Center is set to expand to North Dallas with the opening of ... of Lewisville, on 1596 W. Main St., Lewisville, TX 75067, the new location will ... It will serve residents and businesses around Lewisville, TX, including Double Oak, Copper Canyon, ...
(Date:1/23/2020)... ... January 23, 2020 , ... ... memory impairment, has announced the Best Memory Care Facilities in Santa Rosa, California. ... facility features and amenities. , According to the Alzheimer’s Association , ...
(Date:1/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2020 , ... ... of providing programs and services that improve workforce resilience, is presenting at the ... serves as an advocate and resource for organizations that devote themselves to society’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2020)... ... 12, 2020 , ... FutuRx, Israel’s leading biopharmaceutical incubator, a ... Ventures, Inc, operating under a tender from the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) has ... at Tel-Aviv University and Glasgow University. , Epeius pharma develops next generation ...
(Date:1/10/2020)... ... January 10, 2020 , ... Reach ... Counselor Association, will celebrate high school counselors and award the first annual Excellence ... National Championship weekend and Extra Yard for Teachers Summit celebration on Saturday, January ...
(Date:1/10/2020)... ... 2020 , ... By mid-January, many people’s New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside. ... Night Wellness Retreat for the 2020 season. , Open each year from the last spring ... in May and the first weekend of October. The new dates for New Life Hiking ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: