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A key antibody, IgG, links cells' capture and disposal of germs

ng the antibody's other known roles, Nohturfft's group has now shown that IgG serves to accelerate the creation of phagolysosomes. Under physiological conditions, the scientists found that latex beads coated with IgG formed phagolysosomes in just a third the time it took the cellular machinery to process uncoated beads, 15 minutes versus 45 minutes.

"This process is central to the human immune response," Nohturfft says. "But some of the most destructive microbial pathogens, such as those responsible for tuberculosis and salmonellosis, are able to hijack cells and use them as a breeding ground precisely because they block the merger of phagosomes and lysosomes. It had long been known that coating these germs with IgG can restore their destruction and our recent results reveal a new branch of this IgG-led counterattack."


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Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
13-Nov-2006


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