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Protein's Role In Immune Defence Uncovered

  January, 25 2005 10:14
your information resource in human molecular genetics
In this week's Nature, researchers uncover the role of a vital protein called IRF-5 in triggering immune defences against invading pathogens. Targeting this protein with drugs might help control dangerous over-reactions to some disease-causing microbes.

Tadatsugu Taniguchi and his colleagues studied a pathway in the immune system involving Toll-like receptors, which recognize molecules originating from invading microbes and stimulate inflammatory responses and immunity. By studying mice genetically engineered to lack the Irf5 gene, they show that the IRF-5 protein is essential for these responses.

Once Toll-like receptors are activated, IRF-5 protein moves to the nucleus of the cell, the team found, where it turns on the production of cytokines that trigger inflammation. Mice lacking IRF-5 launch only a weak immune response to bacterial protein, they go on to show

Author contact:

Tadatsugu Taniguchi (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Tel: +81 3 5841 3373
E-mail: tada@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Also available online.

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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