Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers closer to understanding how proteins regulate immune system

Date:
July 3, 2012
Source:
University of Calgary
Summary:
Researchers have revealed how white blood cells move to infection or inflammation in the body; findings which could help lead to developing drug therapies for immune system disorders.

Researchers in the biological sciences department in the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary have revealed how white blood cells move to infection or inflammation in the body; findings which could help lead to developing drug therapies for immune system disorders.

The research is published this month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

It's long been known that two human proteins -- L-selectin and calmodulin -- are involved in moving white blood cells to the site of inflammation or infection in the body. L-selectin is embedded in the cellular membrane of the white blood cells and acts like Velcro, tethering the white blood cell to the sticky surface on the wall of the blood vessel.

When the white blood cell reaches a site of infection or inflammation, it 'sheds' the L-selectin protein, which lets it leave the blood stream and enter the damaged tissue. This shedding process is controlled inside of the white blood cell by the protein calmodulin.

"Cell biologists had figured out in 1998 that calmodulin was negatively regulating the shedding process of L-selectin," says Jessica Gifford, a PhD student supervised by Hans Vogel. "They knew calmodulin did it, but they didn't know how."

Using powerful magnets and a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Gifford and Vogel determined the molecular structure of the interaction between the two proteins, providing important insight at the molecular level into how calmodulin controls the shedding of L-selectin.

"Understanding the molecular details of these processes will help us understand how our bodies respond to inflammation," says Gifford, "and if we can understand that, that's the first step of producing drug therapies to manipulate your immune system, to either turn it on, or turn it off."

There is a growing interest in drug therapies to help regulate the immune system, say Gifford. "So many problems that people have are due to overactive immune systems," she says. "By understanding how your white blood cells get around, then maybe we can stop them from getting there when they don't need to be."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Calgary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. L. Gifford, H. Ishida, H. J. Vogel. Structural Insights into Calmodulin Regulated L-selectin Ectodomain Shedding. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.373373

Cite This Page:

University of Calgary. "Researchers closer to understanding how proteins regulate immune system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703142852.htm>.
University of Calgary. (2012, July 3). Researchers closer to understanding how proteins regulate immune system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703142852.htm
University of Calgary. "Researchers closer to understanding how proteins regulate immune system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703142852.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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