Investigation of the “T-cell signalling laboratory” reveals the fundamental mechanism that initiates T-cell activation

Investigation of the “T-cell signalling laboratory” reveals the fundamental mechanism that initiates T-cell activation

T cells are the first line of specific defence against microbial pathogens, cancerous cells and response to vaccination. To alert our body of microbial or cancer threats and eliminate them, T cells are equipped with the T-cell antigen receptor. An investigation lead by the “T-cell signalling laboratory” directed by Prof Oreste Acuto at the Dunn School has uncovered the fundamental molecular mechanism of how the T-cell antigen receptor signals the presence of such threats. This work is particularly resounding as the T-cell antigen receptor was discovered almost four decades ago but its mode of action has been uncertain since. This work was supported by key collaborations with the Oxford laboratories of Prof Mark Sansom at the Biochemistry Department and Prof Michael Dustin at the Kennedy Institute, and with Immunocore Ltd, in Abingdon. The findings, published in the issue of July 13 2021 of Cell Reports, should impact on our knowledge of T cell biology and open new avenues in immune therapy and treatment of immune disorders.

Lanz AL, Masi G, Porciello N, Cohnen A, Cipria D, Prakaash D, Bálint Š, Raggiaschi R, Galgano D, Cole DK, Lepore M, Dushek O, Dustin ML, Sansom MSP, Kalli AC, Acuto O (2021).

 

Cell Reports 36(2): 109375