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Negative Regulator Of B Cell Function

  October, 8 2001 2:32
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk), a protein critical for B cell survival, must be tightly controlled to avoid cancer or immunodeficiency. In the October issue of Nature Immunology (Vol. 2, No. 10, Oct 01), scientists have isolated a protein that inhibits Btk activity. The discovery of this negative regulator may lead to a better understanding of immunodeficiency syndromes and the expansion of B cells, which produce antibodies to fight infections.

Various molecules that switch on Btk have been reported, but how the enzymatic activity of Btk is controlled has remained elusive. Giuseppe Scala and colleagues from Italy and the USA have identified a molecule, IBtk (inhibitor of Btk) that offers new insight into the regulation of Btk activity. By binding to a particular domain of Btk, the IBtk inhibitor protein interferes with further signal transmission and activation of cell survival genes.

Author Contact
Dr. Giuseppe Scala
University Federico II
Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnologies
Via S. Pansini 5,
Naples, 80131
Telephone: 011-39-081-746-3017
Fax: 011-39-081-746 3074
Email Address: scala@dbbm.unina.it

(C) Nature Immunology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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