Volume 3.15 | Apr 29

Immune Regulation News 3.15, April 29, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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How Do White Blood Cells Detect Invaders to Destroy? Cedars-Sinai Research Offers Model
Scientists have discovered how a molecular receptor on the surface of white blood cells identifies when invading fungi have established direct contact with the cell surface and pose an infectious threat. [Press release from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Nature]



New Technique Extends Cancer-Fighting Cells’ Potency in Melanoma Patients
Scientists have developed a technique that can cause white blood cells cells to survive in patients’ bloodstreams for well over a year, in some cases, without the need of other, highly toxic treatments, a new study shows. [Press release from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute discussing online prepublication in Science Translational Medicine]

Scientists Develop Compound that Effectively Halts Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
Scientists have developed the first of a new class of highly selective compounds that effectively suppresses the severity of multiple sclerosis in animal models. The new compound could provide new and potentially more effective therapeutic approaches to multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases that affect patients worldwide. [Press release from The Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Blocking Crucial Molecule Could Help Treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Jefferson Neuroscientists Say
Researchers found that Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) appears to be the key culprit in the onset of MS, because without it, T helper 17 cells did not induce the MS-like disease in an experimental animal model. [Press release from Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience discussing online prepublication in Nature Immunology]

Do Immune System Ills Help Drive Type 2 Diabetes?
New research suggests that the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may be linked to an immune system reaction gone awry. [Press release from MedlinePlus discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine]

Signaling Pathway Reveals Mechanism for B Cell Differentiation in Immune Response
A study has clarified for the first time the mechanism governing differentiation of B cells into antibody-producing plasma cells. The finding establishes a role for the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathway in B cell differentiation, a key step toward the development of B cell-targeted drugs for treatment of autoimmune diseases and allergies. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in Science Signaling]

New Study Finds Better Strategy for Lymphoma Immunotherapy
An extra boost to extend the cancer-fighting power of specially engineered immune system cells proved effective in a preliminary study involving six lymphoma patients, said researchers. [Press release from Baylor College of Medicine discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

Protective T-Cells Used in Stem-Cell Treatment Can Cause the Body to Attack Itself
Researchers have made an important discovery that provides a new understanding of how our immune system “learns” not to attack our own body, and this could affect the way doctors treat patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer. [Press release from the University of Alberta discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Autoimmunity]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Activation of the Innate Immune Receptor Dectin-1 Upon Formation of a ‘Phagocytic Synapse’
In this study researchers show that, despite its ability to bind both soluble and particulate β-glucan polymers, Dectin-1 signalling is only activated by particulate β-glucans, which cluster the receptor in synapse-like structures from which regulatory tyrosine phosphatases CD45 and CD148 (also known as PTPRC and PTPRJ, respectively) are excluded. [Nature]

Suppression of TH17 Differentiation and Autoimmunity by a Synthetic ROR Ligand
Here researchers present SR1001, a high-affinity synthetic ligand—the first in a new class of compound—that is specific to both RORα and RORγt and which inhibits TH17 cell differentiation and function. [Nature]

B Cells Promote Insulin Resistance through Modulation of T Cells and Production of Pathogenic IgG Antibodies
Here researchers show a fundamental pathogenic role for B cells in the development of these metabolic abnormalities. [Nat Med]

The Encephalitogenicity of TH17 Cells is Dependent on IL-1- and IL-23-Induced Production of the Cytokine GM-CSF
Here researchers found that IL-23 induced production of the cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in TH17 cells and that GM-CSF had an essential role in their encephalitogenicity. [Nat Immunol]

The Calcium Sensors STIM1 and STIM2 Control B Cell Regulatory Function through Interleukin-10 Production
Here, researchers show that ER calcium sensors STIM1- and STIM2-induced store-operated Ca2+ influx is critical for B cell regulatory function. [Immunity]

B7-H2 Is a Costimulatory Ligand for CD28 in Human
By employing a receptor array assay, researchers have demonstrated that B7-H2, best known as the ligand of inducible costimulator, was a ligand for CD28 and CTLA-4 in human, whereas these interactions were not conserved in mouse. [Immunity]

CD28 Costimulation Improves Expansion and Persistence of Chimeric Antigen Receptor–Modified T Cells in Lymphoma Patients
Investigators designed a study that allowed them to directly measure the consequences of adding a costimulatory endodomain to chimeric antigen receptor-redirected T cells. [J Clin Invest]

Programmed Death-1 is Required for Systemic Self-Tolerance in Newly Generated T Cells during the Establishment of Immune Homeostasis
Researchers assessed the importance of the co-inhibitory receptor programmed death-1 (PD-1) in the control of lymphopenia-driven autoimmunity in newly generated T cells vs. established peripheral T cells and in thymic selection. [J Autoimmun]

Establishment of Antitumor Memory in Humans Using In Vitro–Educated CD8+ T Cells
To generate CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs) that have an intrinsic capacity to persist in vivo, scientists developed a human artificial antigen-presenting cell system that can educate antitumor CTLs to acquire both a central memory and an effector memory phenotype as well as the capacity to survive in culture for prolonged periods of time. [Sci Transl Med]

ERKs Induce Expression of the Transcriptional Repressor Blimp-1 and Subsequent Plasma Cell Differentiation
Here, researchers report that ERKs are essential for the differentiation of B cells into antibody-producing plasma cells and that ERKs induce the expression of Prdm1, which encodes Blimp-1, a transcriptional repressor and “master regulator” of plasma cell differentiation. [Sci Signal]



Promising Technology in Immunology Licensed to Partnership in China
China Institute of Strategy and Management Lanmeng Investment Co., Ltd., and Columbia University announced that they have entered into research and license agreements, granting worldwide exclusive rights to a portfolio of certain Columbia intellectual property that may lay the foundation for new approaches in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of human autoimmune diseases and a wide range of other human immunologic relevant disorders. [Columbia Technology Ventures Press Release]

Data Published in Blood Demonstrate Potent Activity of MacroGenics’ Proprietary DART™ Technology
MacroGenics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company that develops immunotherapeutics to treat autoimmune disorders, cancer and infectious diseases, announced the publication in the journal Blood of preclinical data demonstrating potent inhibition of B-cell lymphoma through redirected T lymphocyte-mediated killing, using its bispecific DART™ antibody technology. [MacroGenics, Inc. Press Release]


National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


NEW ImVacS: The Immunotherapeutics & Vaccine Summit
August 16-18, 2011
Cambridge, United States

NEW Vaccine Forum Singapore 2011
September 19-21, 2011

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the immune regulation community.


Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Human Monoclonal Antibody Discovery (Arsanis Biosciences)

Implementation Coordinator – Maternity Leave Contract (STEMSOFT Software Inc.)

Postdoctoral Research Position – Mucosal Immunology (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Columbia University)

Research Officer Antibody Engineering (Glenmark Pharmaceuticals S.A.)

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