Activate Now
 
ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Patient Insights into the Design of Technology to Support a Strengths-Based Approach to Health Care.

SURVEY: Weight Management & Chronic Illness

Japanese green tea consumers have reduced risk of dementia

Do Nothing, Accomplish Everything! The Connection Between Breathing and Healing

Meet the ProHealth Editors

Best Herbs to Help With Insomnia

Nature Heals

Choline: Why You Should Eat Your Egg Yolks and Take Krill

Calcium, vitamin D supplementation associated improved stroke recovery

Acupressure reduced fatigue in breast cancer survivors

 
Print Page
Email Article

Researchers Identify Protein That Regulates Killer Cells

  [ 11 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • June 20, 2002


Researchers at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital have identified a protein that plays a critical role in the regulation of "natural killers cells" in the immune system's battle against foreign and diseased cells.

"Our research is a small part of the larger problem of how viruses and diseased cells ravage the body and circumvent our immune system," says Kathleen Binns, a U of T doctoral student in medical genetics and microbiology and an author on a paper in the June 20 issue of Science.

Using mass spectrometry, Binns, who does research in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai and MDS Sciex, sequenced and identified a mystery protein from co-researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland.

Once identified, the protein (SSPase) was sent back to the Swiss researchers where they cloned its gene and sequenced its DNA. That gene, they discovered, is a key component involved in regulation of "natural killer cells" - cells produced by the body's immune system that attack foreign or mutated cells like caused by viruses or cancer.

"This research gives us a better understanding of how the immune system works. As a result, we have a better understanding of how viruses and cancer try to get around this process. One day, we will hopefully be able to develop treatments and therapies to counter these rogue cells," says Binns.

A group of genes called the major histocompatibility complex I (MHC-I) are a natural part of the immune system and present in most cells in the body, explains Binns. Acting like an information relay, the MHC-I molecules retrieve bits and pieces of the proteins from inside the cell and display them on the cell surface. "MHC complexes essentially give a read out of what's inside the cell," she says.

T-cells, one of the main components of the immune system, "examine" the protein fragments on the cell surface and if they recognize them, the T-cells move on. If, however, the T-cells do not recognize the fragments, the cell may be hosting a virus or manufacturing mutant proteins (as in the case of cancer). The T-cells then react by attacking and killing the "diseased" cells.

Some virus and tumor cells, however, have evolved mechanisms that circumvent the T-cell attack by stopping MHC production and the display of disease proteins, says Binns.

As a countermeasure, the researchers found that the immune system developed a monitor that employs the SSPase protein and uses a second type of immune cell known as a natural killer cell, she notes. The protein processes MHC-I molecules to make a peptide signal. If sufficient levels of the MHC-I protein are present in the cell, the natural killer cell moves on. If, however, the killer cell detects insufficient levels of the MHC-I protein because it has not received the particular peptide signal, the killer cell attacks and destroys the suspect cell.

"This process is a check on viruses and abnormal cells that try to bypass the T-cell system," says Binns. "Viruses become smarter, our immune systems work to counteract them and the viruses get smarter again. There's this constant evolution for the drive to survive, and viruses and cancer cells have the same drive to survive that we do."

Binns conducted the research with Andreas Weihofen, lead author on the study, Marius Lemberg and Bruno Martoglio of the Institute of Biochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Keith Ashman, an investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital.

This research was funded by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and MDS Sciex, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

CONTACT:

Kathleen Binns, Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology, at 416-586-4524, or email binns@mshri.on.ca

Janet Wong, U of T Public Affairs, at 416-978-5949, or email jf.wong@utoronto.ca



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil

Looking for Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements?
Search the ProHealth Store for Hundreds of Natural Health Products


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
Natural Pain Relief Supplements

Featured Products

Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium
Optimized Curcumin Longvida® Optimized Curcumin Longvida®
Supports Cognition, Memory & Overall Health
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength

Natural Remedies

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sleep But Were Too Tired to Ask Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sleep But Were Too Tired to Ask
Clinically Studied Joint Relief Product for FM & ME/CFS Clinically Studied Joint Relief Product for FM & ME/CFS
"It's Not Easy Being Green" - But It Is Healthy
The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms The Remarkable Benefits of Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms
Astaxanthin - A Little-Known but Power-Packed Nutrient Astaxanthin - A Little-Known but Power-Packed Nutrient

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE 15% NOW*
Be the first to know about new products, special discounts and the latest health news. *New subscribers only

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2016 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map