New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

New immune system regulator discovered

Date:
February 22, 2018
Source:
University of Turku
Summary:
Researchers in Finland have discovered a new regulator of the immune system, a key factor that controls development of regulatory T cells. The discovery provides basis for new strategies for the treatment of both cancer and immune-mediated diseases.
Share:
FULL STORY

Academy Professor Riitta Lahesmaa's research group from Turku Centre for Biotechnology of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, Finland, has discovered a new regulator of the immune system, a key factor that controls development of regulatory T cells. The discovery provides basis for new strategies for the treatment of both cancer and immune-mediated diseases.

Regulatory T cells are critical controllers of the immune response. The majority of T cells boost the immune response enhancing the ability to destroy cancer cells, viruses and bacteria. In contrast, regulatory T cells can sometimes suppress the immune system's ability to attack cancer cells, allowing cancer to grow and spread. In these instances, inhibiting or braking the regulatory T cell activity would be needed.

"We discovered that a protein called 'Hypermethylated In Cancer 1', or HIC1, serves as the key regulator of regulatory T cells controlling the expression of a large set of genes contributing to T cell function," says Academy Professor Riitta Lahesmaa.

"In addition, with genome-wide methods we show that HIC1 binds to sites in the nucleus that often contain genetic variations associated with immune-mediated diseases. This gives us completely new insights into molecular mechanisms that regulate T cell function and immune response in general," continues Lahesmaa.

The study was published in the Cell Reports journal on 20 February 2018.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Turku. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ubaid Ullah, Syed Bilal Ahmad Andrabi, Subhash Kumar Tripathi, Obaiah Dirasantha, Kartiek Kanduri, Sini Rautio, Catharina C. Gross, Sari Lehtimäki, Kanchan Bala, Johanna Tuomisto, Urvashi Bhatia, Deepankar Chakroborty, Laura L. Elo, Harri Lähdesmäki, Heinz Wiendl, Omid Rasool, Riitta Lahesmaa. Transcriptional Repressor HIC1 Contributes to Suppressive Function of Human Induced Regulatory T Cells. Cell Reports, 2018; 22 (8): 2094-2106 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.01.070

Cite This Page:

University of Turku. "New immune system regulator discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180222103601.htm>.
University of Turku. (2018, February 22). New immune system regulator discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180222103601.htm
University of Turku. "New immune system regulator discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180222103601.htm (accessed April 18, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES