Modulation of Scramblase: a novel paradigm to fight chronic infection and cancer

Reporting this week in JEM, the Winau lab identified a new pathway involving scramblase TMEM16F that preserves efficient T cell responses to control viral infection. These findings provide a novel target for therapy against chronic diseases, such as cancer, HIV and hep B virus infections.

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Keeping up with HIV mutations: Building a nimble vaccine test system

A group led by Frederick Alt, developed a technology to greatly speed up HIV development in mice. The group’s method generates mouse models with built-in human immune systems. The model rapidly recapitulates what the human immune system does, enabling researchers to continuously test and tweak potential HIV vaccines.

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CD1a molecule as a potential therapeutic target in inflammatory skin diseases

The Winau Lab has discovered a new mechanism for skin inflammation. This work, recently published in Nature Immunology, forms the basis for future therapeutic strategies against inflammatory skin diseases, such as poison ivy dermatitis and psoriasis.

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When antibiotics fail: A potential new angle on severe bacterial infection and sepsis

Reporting this week in Nature, scientists in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (PCMM) describe new potential avenues for controlling both sepsis and the runaway bacterial infections that provoke it.

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Democratizing high-throughput single molecule force analysis

Now, a research team led by Wesley Wong has made a major advance by developing an inexpensive method that permits analysis of the force responses of thousands of similar molecules simultaneously.

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DNA breaks in nerve cells' ancestors cluster in specific genes

Study reveals new avenue for thinking about brain development, brain tumors and neurodevelopmental/psychiatric diseases

Microptosis: Programmed death for microbes?

Over the last couple of years Judy Lieberman’s lab has uncovered evidence for what could be an evolutionarily ancient form of immune defense directed against intracellular pathogens. In a 2014 Cell paper, her lab revealed that the immune system’s T-cells can kill intracellular bacteria directly by pummeling infected cells with three proteins: perforin, granulysin and granzymes

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Putting structure around the genetic basis of some immune diseases

In a recent Cell paper, a team led by Hao Wu, PhD, used electronic microscopy to reveal how RAG1 and 2 interact at a structural level, both with each other and with DNA.

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Sequence-Intrinsic Mechanisms that Target AID Mutational Outcomes on Antibody Genes

Researchers in Dr. Fred Alt's laboratory used a novel in vivo mouse model system to resolve longstanding questions regarding the influence of DNA sequences on AID targeting and mutational outcomes during antibody diversification.

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Improved cell cloning technique makes the jump from mice to humans

In a new paper in Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Yi Zhang's team report that they’ve extended their work to improve the efficiency of SCNT in human cells.

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Featured News Story

Modulation of Scramblase: a novel paradigm to fight chronic infection and cancer

Modulation of Scramblase: a novel paradigm to fight chronic infection and cancer

T lymphocytes, or T-cells, are critical sentinels that eliminate viruses and tumors. However, their strength to find and destroy their diseased targets often declines during chronic infections and cancer - a state referred to as T-cell exhaustion. Reversal of T-cell exhaustion by blocking of the immune checkpoints by programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) has been demonstrated to be remarkably successful in treating a wide range of cancers. Understanding the cause and regulation of T-cell exhaustion could help to discover novel therapeutic targets and to improve current therapies for chronic infections and cancer.

The Winau lab has found a new pathway that protects T-cells from severe exhaustion during chronic viral infection. This is an important process that ensures long-lasting, anti-viral immunity. Florian Winau and colleagues found that the function of transmembrane protein 16 (TMEM16) F, also known as the lipid scramblase, is to shut down T-cell receptor signaling, thus… Read More »

Announcements

Dr. Jing Li was awarded Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Jing Li was awarded Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer…

Dr. Li, a postdoctoral fellow in the Springer lab, will test the hypothesis that the conformational ensemble of integrin α5β1 specifies its function, and rational perturbation of its ensemble… Read More »

Xing Liu and Pei-Chi Wei were awarded Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Fellowships

Xing Liu and Pei-Chi Wei were awarded Charles A. King…

Dr. Xing Liu (left), a postdoctoral fellow in the Lieberman lab, will investigate the  underlying mechanism responsible for global mRNA decay during programmed cell death. Decay of mRNA,… Read More »

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