Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Immune cell 'survival' gene key to better myeloma treatments

04.02.2013
Scientists have identified the gene essential for survival of antibody-producing cells, a finding that could lead to better treatments for diseases where these cells are out of control, such as myeloma and chronic immune disorders.

The discovery that a gene called Mcl-1 is critical for keeping this vital immune cell population alive was made by researchers at Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Associate Professor David Tarlinton, Dr Victor Peperzak and Dr Ingela Vikstrom from the institute's Immunology division led the research, which was published today in Nature Immunology.

Antibody-producing cells, also known as plasma cells, live in the bone marrow and make antibodies that provide a person with long-term protection from viruses and bacteria, Associate Professor Tarlinton said. "Plasma cells are produced after vaccination or infection and are responsible for the immune 'memory' that can persist in humans for 70 or 80 years. In this study, we found that plasma cells critically rely on Mcl-1 for their continued survival and, without it, they die within two days," he said.

Dr Peperzak said the team was surprised to find that plasma cells used this as a 'failsafe' mechanism in controlling their survival. "One of the interesting things we found is that because plasma cells rapidly destroy Mcl-1 proteins within the cell yet depend on it for their survival, they need continuous external signals to tell them to produce more Mcl-1 protein," Dr Peperzak said. "This keeps the plasma cells under tight control, with Mcl-1 acting like a timer that constantly counts down and, if not reset, instructs the cell to die."

Plasma cells are vital to the immune response, but can be dangerous if not properly controlled, Associate Professor Tarlinton said. "As with any immune cell, plasma cells are really quite dangerous in many respects and need to be tightly controlled," he said. "When they are out of control they continue to make antibodies that can be very damaging if there are too many. This happens in conditions such as myeloma – a cancer of plasma cells – and various forms of autoimmunity, such as systemic lupus erythamatosus or rheumatoid arthritis, where there are excessive levels of antibodies."

Myeloma is a blood cancer that affects more than 1200 Australians each year, and is more common in people over 60. It is caused by the uncontrolled production of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow and the build up of damaging antibodies in the blood. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are autoimmune diseases in which the antibodies produced by plasma cells attack and destroy the body's own tissues.

Associate Professor Tarlinton said that his hope was that the discovery could be used to develop new treatments for these conditions. "Myeloma in particular has a very poor prognosis, and is generally considered incurable," Associate Professor Tarlinton said. "Now that we know Mcl-1 is the one essential gene needed to keep plasma cells alive, we have begun 'working backwards' to identify all the critical molecules and signals needed to switch on Mcl-1 and keep the cells alive. Our hope is that we will identify some point in the internal cell signalling pathway, or a critical external molecule, that could be blocked to stop Mcl-1 being produced by the cell. This would be an important new platform for diseases that currently have no specific or effective treatment, such as myeloma, or offer new treatment options for people who don't respond well to existing treatments for diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis."

This research was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, European Molecular Biology Organization and the Victorian Government.

Liz Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wehi.edu.au

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fruit fly studies shed light on adaptability of nerve cells
17.04.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

nachricht Rare monkey photographed in Congo's newest national park, Ntokou-Pikounda
17.04.2015 | Wildlife Conservation Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Forscher verschieben Moleküle auf Oberflächen: Nur halb so viel Kraft nötig wie theoretisch gedacht

Forscher der Universität Regensburg haben ein interessantes Phänomen aus der Welt der Quantenphysik entdeckt: Um ein Kohlenmonoxidmolekül auf einer Oberfläche seitlich zu verschieben, ist nur halb so viel Kraft erforderlich, wie theoretisch zu erwarten wäre.

Ein Team um Prof. Dr. Franz J. Gießibl vom Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik machte diese Beobachtung bei Versuchen mit einem...

Im Focus: Autoklavierbare LEDs für die Medizintechnik

Das neue Keramik-SMD-Design der Solidur™ TO LED ermöglicht komplexe Chipkonfigurationen in einem einzigen LED-Modul.

SCHOTT stellte vor kurzem seine neue autoklavierbare und hochbeständige Solidur™ LED-Produktlinie für Geräte und Instrumente der Medizin- und Dentaltechnik...

Im Focus: Astronomers reveal supermassive black hole's intense magnetic field

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy

Astronomers from Chalmers University of Technology have used the giant telescope Alma to reveal an extremely powerful magnetic field very close to a...

Im Focus: Eine „Flipper-Maschine“ für Atome und Photonen

Physiker vom MPQ, Caltech und ICFO haben ein neues Konzept entwickelt, durch Kombination von Nano-Photonik mit ultrakalten Atomen Quanten-Vielteilchensysteme zu simulieren und neue Materiezustände zu erzeugen.

Ultrakalte Atome in optischen Gittern, die durch die kreuzweise Überlagerung von Laserstrahlen entstehen, haben sich bereits als die meist versprechenden...

Im Focus: A “pin ball machine” for atoms and photons

A team of physicists from MPQ, Caltech, and ICFO proposes the combination of nano-photonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems and creating new states of matter.

Ultracold atoms in the so-called optical lattices, that are generated by crosswise superposition of laser beams, have been proven to be one of the most...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Das Kaba Ideen Netzwerk geht in die nächste Runde

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

VDI-Expertenforum: Effiziente Softwareentwicklung in der Medizintechnik

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Impflücken schließen. Die Europäische Impfwoche beginnt

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Das Kaba Ideen Netzwerk geht in die nächste Runde

17.04.2015 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

ERP-Softwarehersteller HS zeigt mit neuer Webpräsenz Gesicht

17.04.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung

Schnelle und unkomplizierte Hilfe von HEIDENHAIN im Servicefall

17.04.2015 | Unternehmensmeldung