New insights about the influence of STAP-1 on immune cell activation

Posted: 13 March 2024 | | No comments yet

The new findings could lead to a therapeutic target for immune-related disorders, like multiple sclerosis.

T cells

Scientists from Hokkaido University have provided new insights regarding the significance of the STAP-1 protein in activating certain immune cells. These findings could lead to a therapeutic target for immune-related disorders, like multiple sclerosis and asthma.

It was discovered that STAP-1 has a key role in the activation of T cells, which are adept at recognising antigens and giving targeted responses to eliminate pathogens. STAP-1 acts as an intermediary, enabling communication between different proteins within cells and enabling the transmission of signals between molecules.

Dr Tadashi Matsuda, lead author and professor, commented: “Our findings provide valuable insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying T cell activation and the development of immune disorders…We found that STAP-1 plays an important role in regulating immune responses, particularly in the activation and functioning of T cells.”

T cells require two signals to become activated and initiate an immune response. The first signal involves the recognition of antigen-presenting cells. T cell receptors, a protein complex on the surface of T cells, recognise these antigens. The second signal consists of co-stimulatory signals provided by molecules on the antigen-presenting cells.

The team found that STAP-1 helps T cells communicate and respond to signals, especially those triggered by the T cell receptor. T cells without STAP-1 did not receive and transmit signals properly. This reduced production of cytokines that cause inflammation or autoimmune diseases.

As well as this, STAP-1 interacts with other proteins involved in T cell signalling, forming a complex network that aids regulation of T cell activity. The researchers observed that cells lacking STAP-1 had less inflammation in models of diseases like multiple sclerosis and asthma, indicating that STAP-1 could be involved in the development of these conditions.

This study is a significant step towards understanding immune system regulation. Moving forward, the team can build on this work by exploring the potential of STAP-1 as a therapeutic target for treating immune-related disorders.

This study was published in The Journal of Immunology.

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