Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein behind development of immune system sentinels identified

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Summary:
A protein called PU.1 is essential for the development of dendritic cells, the sentinels of the immune system, researchers in Australia have shown.

Ms. Angela D'Amico, Dr. Sebastian Carotta, Dr. Li Wu and Dr. Stephen Nutt from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have found the transcription factor PU.1 is essential to dendritic cell development.
Credit: Czesia Markiewicz, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

A protein called PU.1 is essential for the development of dendritic cells, the sentinels of the immune system, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have shown.

Related Articles


Dendritic cells (DC) are immune cells that present proteins from foreign invaders, such as viruses, to the killer T cells of the immune system, allowing a full immune response to be mounted against the invaders.

Researchers from the Immunology division have been studying dendritic cells and how different molecules regulate their development.

Dr Li Wu said one of the molecules that is known to be important to this development is a protein called Flt3 which is a cytokine receptor found on the surface of blood stem cells and the parent cells that give rise to DC.

"Despite its importance in early blood cell development and dendritic cell development, there is surprisingly little known about how Flt3 expression is controlled," Dr Wu said.

The team of Dr Sebastian Carotta, Dr Aleksandar Dakic, Ms Angela D'Amico, Mr Milon Pang and Dr Kylie Greig, led by Dr Stephen Nutt and Dr Li Wu, has shown the transcription factor PU.1 can directly bind to the Flt3 gene to regulate its expression. "PU.1 can therefore control DC development through regulating Flt3," Dr Wu said.

Dr Carotta said PU.1 was already known to be important to the development of blood cells and immune cells. "If PU.1 is poorly regulated there is a deficiency in the development of blood cells and leukaemia can result," he said.

"To study the role of PU.1 and look at how it's regulated we developed an animal model and a new in vitro system for tracing DC development from their precursors. These systems make it possible to switch off PU.1 in the precursor cells to DC. From that we determined that loss of PU.1 completely abolished DC development," Dr Carotta said.

Dr Wu said this study revealed PU.1 to be a master regulator of DC development. "Although a growing number of transcription factors have been implicated in the development of specific dendritic cell populations, this is the first time a single transcription factor has been shown to be required for all DC lineages," she said.

The study has been published in the journal Immunity.

Dr Wu said the findings had potential to improve DC-based therapies, such as those given to cancer patients who have suppressed DC function. "The problem is people don't know how to develop good DC for these therapies," she said. "By understanding how DC development is regulated it should be possible to create different types of DC populations for therapeutic use."

The study was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Australian Research Council, the Leukaemia Foundation and Pfizer Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian Carotta, Aleksandar Dakic, Angela D'Amico, Swee Heng Milon Pang, Kylie T. Greig, Stephen L. Nutt, Li Wu. The Transcription Factor PU.1 Controls Dendritic Cell Development and Flt3 Cytokine Receptor Expression in a Dose-Dependent Manner. Immunity, 2010; 32 (5): 628 DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2010.05.005

Cite This Page:

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Protein behind development of immune system sentinels identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101155.htm>.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. (2010, October 18). Protein behind development of immune system sentinels identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101155.htm
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. "Protein behind development of immune system sentinels identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101155.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Rural Sierra Leone the Red Cross Battles Ebola

In Rural Sierra Leone the Red Cross Battles Ebola

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) The Red Cross battles the Ebola virus in rural Sierra Leone and its fallout. In one treatment centre in the city of Kenema, the Red Cross also runs a kindergarten. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins