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:
TAG: Long Standing Puzzle Immune System Solved UCSF Researchers

(Date:8/27/2014)... Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds ... when they make risky decisions, new research has shown. ... University of Warwick,s Department of Psychology, conducted tests that ... more likely to gamble for high-value than low-value rewards. ... argue that the test results show the important role ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the ... in a biofilm pose a significant health risk ... treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 ... are 50 to 1,000 times more resistant to ... we may have stumbled onto a magic bullet," ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... pressure from policymakers, consumers, and suppliers has prompted ... reducing the pollutants they emit from their smokestacks ... must also assess environmental performance at every step ... materials to the use and recycling of their ... the discipline known as life cycle engineering, which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds 2Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections 2Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections 3Yale journal explores advances in sustainable manufacturing 2
(Date:8/27/2014)... MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. , Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... developing innovative drug delivery technologies, today announced that it ... New Jersey Business & Industry Association,s 2014 Awards ... Finalists were selected by an independent panel of judges ... member company volunteers. Award winners will be honored at ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... White City, OR (PRWEB) August 27, 2014 ... it stands to reason that the next beverage craze ... Force Technology announced today that formulators can use Stress ... any ingredient used in the making of a beverage, ... natural release for stress-generated energy, channeling that power into ...
(Date:8/27/2014)... (PRWEB) August 27, 2014 WriteResult, LLC ... – has once again shown superiority when it comes ... by completing the ePRO portion of their most recent ... The Japan-based pharma chose WriteResult’s digital writing platform to ... – the first to complete drew data from a ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... , Aug. 26, 2014  NeuroSigma, Inc., a ... to develop bioelectronic technologies, today announced that it has ... U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed ... of shares to be offered and the price range ... Jefferies LLC will act as the book-running ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Tris Pharma Selected as an award winner in the New Jersey Business & Industry Association's 2014 Awards for Excellence 2Stress Relief: 1 Way to De-Stress Your Beverage Formula 2Stress Relief: 1 Way to De-Stress Your Beverage Formula 3Stress Relief: 1 Way to De-Stress Your Beverage Formula 4A Perfect Record: WriteResult Maintains a 100% On-Time ePRO Record with Latest Irritable Bowel (IBS) Study Data Lock 2
Cached News: