Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Faster, higher, stronger: Protein that enables powerful initial immune response

Date:
June 9, 2014
Source:
The Wistar Institute
Summary:
A protein, called Foxp1, is a key controller of our immune system's ability to generate an antibody response, researchers report. Manipulating this protein's activity, they say, could provide a useful pathway to boosting antibody responses to treat infectious diseases, for example, or suppressing them to treat autoimmune disorders.

Your first response to an infectious agent or antigen ordinarily takes about a week, and is relatively weak. However, if your immune system encounters that antigen a second time, the so-called memory response is rapid, powerful, and very effective.

Related Articles


Now, a team of researchers at The Wistar Institute offers evidence that a protein, called Foxp1, is a key component of these antibody responses. Manipulating this protein's activity, they say, could provide a useful pathway to boosting antibody responses to treat infectious diseases, for example, or suppressing them to treat autoimmune disorders. Their findings appear online in the journal Nature Immunology.

"Foxp1 has an important role in our antibody immune responses, and if we could find a way to regulate Foxp1 activity in a subset of T cells, the CD4+ T cells, it could have some profound impact on the antibody responses," said Hui Hu, Ph.D., senior author of the study and associate professor at Wistar's National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center.

"Repressing Foxp1 activity, for example, we may be able to make antibody responses faster-acting and more effective, which could be crucial in, say, a pandemic when time is a critical factor," Hu said. "Alternatively, if we could enhance the effectiveness of this protein, we may be able to significantly dampen the antibody responses that are unwanted in some cases of autoimmune diseases such as lupus."

Previously, the Hu laboratory determined that Foxp1 was responsible for keeping T cells -- the white blood cells that mediate our immune system -- on "active stand-by mode," a process called quiescence. In the present study, Hu teamed with the laboratories of Louise C. Showe, Ph.D., professor in the Wistar Cancer Center's Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis program, which provided crucial genomics expertise, and Jan Erickson, Ph.D., professor in the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis program, which offered expertise in the study of autoimmunity and the activation of B cells, the cells that generate antibodies.

According to their Nature Immunology report, variants (or isoforms) of Foxp1 (called Foxp1A and Foxp1D) are critical regulators for the formation of a type of T cells, called T Follicular Helper (TFH) cells. These TFH cells then go on to enable B cells in creating long-lived, highly reactive antibodies. The proteins are transcription factors, meaning they work by binding to DNA to control which genes in these T cells are "read" or translated into protein.

In the initial days of an immune response, the Foxp1 proteins determine how TFH cells arise from activated T cells. "The two isoforms act as regulators of TFH differentiation in the early moments of the immune response, where they effectively act as gatekeepers to slow TFH development, " Hu said. "They constitute a 'double-check' system that prevents the humoral branch of the immune system from acting too hastily."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Haikun Wang, Jianlin Geng, Xiaomin Wen, Enguang Bi, Andrew V Kossenkov, Amaya I Wolf, Jeroen Tas, Youn Soo Choi, Hiroshi Takata, Timothy J Day, Li-Yuan Chang, Stephanie L Sprout, Emily K Becker, Jessica Willen, Lifeng Tian, Xinxin Wang, Changchun Xiao, Ping Jiang, Shane Crotty, Gabriel D Victora, Louise C Showe, Haley O Tucker, Jan Erikson, Hui Hu. The transcription factor Foxp1 is a critical negative regulator of the differentiation of follicular helper T cells. Nature Immunology, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ni.2890

Cite This Page:

The Wistar Institute. "Faster, higher, stronger: Protein that enables powerful initial immune response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140609153510.htm>.
The Wistar Institute. (2014, June 9). Faster, higher, stronger: Protein that enables powerful initial immune response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140609153510.htm
The Wistar Institute. "Faster, higher, stronger: Protein that enables powerful initial immune response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140609153510.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shoveling Snow: How to Prevent Back Injuries

Shoveling Snow: How to Prevent Back Injuries

Washington Post (Jan. 26, 2015) What&apos;s the proper technique for shoveling snow? A physical therapist offers specific tips for protecting your back while you dig out this winter. Video provided by Washington Post
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