New way found to boost immunity in fight cancer and infections

July 19, 2017, University of Montreal
Killer T cells surround a cancer cell. Credit: NIH

An international research team led by Université de Montréal medical professor Christopher Rudd, director of research in immunology and cell therapy at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, has identified a key new mechanism that regulates the ability of T-cells of the immune system to react against foreign antigens and cancer. T-cells orchestrate the response of the immune system. This work outlines how a receptor termed LFA-1 on the surface of T-cells mediates adhesion to other cells such as cancer cells.

The work, published in Nature Communications, shows that LFA-1 mediates adhesion or de-adhesion by engaging a novel intracellular pathway in T-. International work over the past decade has underscored the importance of the manipulation of the immune system to combat cancers and infections. Manipulation of the new pathway outlined by Rudd and his co-researchers represents a new targeting strategy to promote immune-cell rejection of .

"With this ," said Rudd, "we have found a new way to alter the overall immune response. We now have new tools to increase immune response against cancer and infections. The discovery could prove to be a major asset in the fight against several pathologies via the targeting of a single immune cell component."

"It is clear that Dr. Rudd's discovery represents a breakthrough in our ability to understand the immune system and to use it in the fight against cancer and infections," added Denis-Claude Roy, director of research at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. "This new mechanism allows us to identify the weaknesses of our present immunological approaches and to develop new weapons that are even more effective."

Explore further: Researchers identify unexpected role of Neuropilin-1

More information: Monika Raab, Yuning Lu, Karsten Kohler, Xin Smith, Klaus Strebhardt & Christopher E. Rudd, "LFA-1 activates focal adhesion kinases FAK1 / PYK2 to generate LAT-GRB2-SKAP1 complexes that terminate T-cell conjugate formation", Nature Communications, 2017 July 12. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16001

Related Stories

Researchers identify unexpected role of Neuropilin-1

November 29, 2016
The recent work of Dr. Jean-Sebastien Delisle of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center (CIUSSS-EMTL) affiliated with the University of Montreal, which uncovers novel immune system mechanisms, has been recognized ...

Not such a 'simple' sugar—glucose may help fight cancer and inflammatory disease

May 30, 2017
Glucose - commonly referred to as a 'simple' sugar - may actually be crucial in the fight against cancer and inflammatory disease as scientists have just discovered a new role in which it stimulates cells that work on the ...

Immune therapy scientists discover distinct cells that block cancer-fighting immune cells

February 6, 2017
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre scientists have discovered a distinct cell population in tumours that inhibits the body's immune response to fight cancer.

Study unveils T cell signaling process central to immune response

May 16, 2017
The immune system cells known as T cells play a central role in the body's ability to fight infections and cancer. For decades, however, details of the molecular signaling process that leads to T cell activation have remained ...

Identifying a novel target for cancer immunotherapy

April 12, 2017
Targeting a molecule called B7-H4—which blocks T-cells from destroying tumor cells—could lead to the development of new therapies that boost the immune system's ability to fight cancer, according to a review published ...

Designer viruses stimulate the immune system to fight cancer

May 26, 2017
Swiss scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the University of Basel have created artificial viruses that can target cancer. These designer viruses alert the immune system and cause it to send ...

Recommended for you

More than 2,500 cancer cases a week could be avoided

March 23, 2018
More than 135,500 cases of cancer a year in the UK could be prevented through lifestyle changes, according to new figures from a Cancer Research UK landmark study published today.

Metastatic lymph nodes can be the source of distant metastases in mouse models of cancer

March 22, 2018
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators finds that, in mouse models, cancer cells from metastatic lymph nodes can escape into the circulation by invading nodal blood vessels, leading to the development ...

Could a pap test spot more than just cervical cancer?

March 22, 2018
Pap tests have helped drive down rates of cervical cancer, and a new study suggests they also could be used to detect other gynecologic cancers early.

Researchers identify compound to prevent breast cancer cells from activating in brain

March 22, 2018
Researchers at Houston Methodist used computer modeling to find an existing investigational drug compound for leukemia patients to treat triple negative breast cancer once it spreads to the brain.

Researchers examine role of fluid flow in ovarian cancer progression

March 22, 2018
New research from Virginia Tech is moving physicians closer to pinpointing a predictor of ovarian cancer, which could lead to earlier diagnosis of what is know as the "silent killer."

Gene-based test for urine detects, monitors bladder cancer

March 22, 2018
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a test for urine, gathered during a routine procedure, to detect DNA mutations identified with urothelial cancers.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.