Unraveling a key motif:
The T lymphocytes of the immune system work to destroy infected cells or cancer cells. To do so, they have to identify the threat: Molecules perceived as foreign – so-called antigens – bind to the T-cell receptor on the T cell surface. Now research groups led by PD Dr. Susana Minguet (B01) and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel from the University of Freiburg’s signaling research Clusters of Excellence BIOSS and CIBSS have succeeded in demonstrating how this identification mechanism activates T cells to switch to attack mode. In a study published in the journal Nature Immunology, they describe a previously undiscovered domain of the T-cell receptor and demonstrate that this so-called RK motif improves immune therapies against cancer in pre-clinical studies.
Hartl et al. (2020): Noncanonical binding of Lck to CD3ε promotes TCR signaling and CAR function. In: Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/s41590-020-0732-3