HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Long-Standing Puzzle Of Immune System Is Solved By UCSF Researchers

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have solved a decades-long scientific puzzle about how the body's immune system works to combat illness.

In a study also having implications for better understanding cancer, the researchers found that the immune system is able to target virtually any unwanted microscopic invader within the body by subverting the function of an enzyme that normally is used to repair mistakes -- called mutations -- in the genetic material, DNA.

Immunology researchers have long suspected that immune cells take advantage of mutations that arise in genes to generate greater diversity in the genes that encode antibodies, proteins that mark disease agents for destruction. This diversity provides the immune system with a better selection from which to choose the best weapons for fighting disease.

Immunologists previously unearthed evidence indicating that immune cells can even activate mechanisms for producing additional mutations, a process dubbed hypermutation. But until now, none of the key molecular players used by immune cells to generate these mutations had been identified.

The study, co-authored by Mattias Wabl, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at UCSF and his laboratory team, is reported in the February 20 issue of Science.

"While mutations are, in general, harmful and unwanted, there is an important exception," Wabl explains. "B cells of the immune system depend on mutations in order to be ready to defend the body against newly arising pathogenic microorganisms.

"Without hypermutation at the immunoglobulin genes, which encode antibodies, we would likely have succumbed to an Andromeda strain long ago," Wabl says, referring to a popular science fiction thriller starring a newly arising microscopic scourge that threatens human life on Earth.

The cellular agent identified by the UCSF researchers as the one used by B c
'"/>

Contact: UCSF News Office
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
20-Feb-1998


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Comprehensive Nutritional Status In Patients With Long-Standing Crohn Disease Currently In Remission
2. Puzzle solved on how influenza builds its infectious seeds
3. CAK Activation Of Plant Cell Cycle: Scientists Find Another Piece In The Jigsaw Puzzle To Help Explain Why Plants Do Not Develop Cancer Spontaneously
4. New Finding Suggests "HATs" Are Key To Gene Activation Puzzle
5. Immune systems attack dogs kept on genetic leash
6. Immune system drug may increase availability of liver transplants
7. Immune cells may help deliver cancer vaccines for children
8. Immune response depends on key molecule: Research
9. Applied Biosystems and Immune Tolerance Network announce immunology research agreement
10. Immune system component found common to both humans and worms
11. Immune cells SLAP internal signals together

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - ... - 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in ... 2014 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of ... small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... , March 14, 2016 NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ... starting the week of March 21 st .  The commercials ... including its popular Squawk on the Street show. --> ... on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... 11, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - --> ... is available at AP Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - ... used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be ... CeBIT in Hanover next week.   --> ... be used to produce the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number ... be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The ... by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a ... clinically relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The organization ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two ... knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior ... cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that ...
(Date:5/24/2016)...   MedyMatch Technology Ltd ., the data analytics healthcare ... support tools in the emergency room, announced today that it ... Technology Industries (IATI) BioMed Conference. The Conference ... National Life Sciences and Technology Week, and is being held ... Tel Aviv, Israel . Gene Saragnese ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: