The immune system’s protector is revealed by discovery: ikeros

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The immune system's protector is revealed by discovery: ikeros
The immune system's protector: Image

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Researchers at Monash University in Australia have solved the code encoding Icaros, a protein critical to immune cell proliferation and defense against infections and cancer. This discovery advances our knowledge of the inner workings of immune cells.

Under the direction of renowned professor Nicholas Huntington of Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute, this ground-breaking research is poised to fundamentally alter our knowledge of the gene regulatory network and its effects on everything from cancer susceptibility to eye color and the development of novel therapeutics. The research, which was published in Nature Immunology, holds great promise for understanding the processes defending against cancer and infection.

When the transcription factor Ikaros/Ikzf1 was purposely turned off, natural killer (NK) cells, which are the first line of defense in our immune system, became less active. This happened in both preclinical models and people. When NK cells lost this transcription factor, it messed up their development and function in a big way. This made it harder for them to find and kill virus-infected cells and remove metastatic tumor cells from the bloodstream.

When numerous IKZF-family members were disrupted, NK cells died more quickly. This is because Aeolos, or IKZF3, and Helios, or IKZF2, a similar family member, were shown to partially compensate for the loss of Ikaros. It was shown that Aeolos and Ikaros directly bind and activate most of the transcription factors in the JUN/FOS family. These factors are important for the growth and function of human embryos and tissues.

Potential new cancer treatments are now possible thanks to this discovery. By focusing on Ikaros and JU N/F.OS biology, therapy can improve the killing power of natural killer cells (NK cells). These immune cells are our main defense against infections and cancer.

Professor Huntington pointed out that medications that target Ikaros and Aeolos have previously been approved for the treatment of B cell malignancy by the local Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“How these medications function is still a mystery to us. These new details may lead to the development of novel medications that target these complexes and offer various pharmacological and therapeutic indicators for the treatment of the illness.

On this front, it was crucial for the team under Professor Huntington to show that Ikaros played a conserved role in both potential B cell malignancy and healthy B cells.

 

Published by : Reshraman