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Immune Mechanism Discovered

April 21, 2005

Cytokines are a unique family of growth factors that are secreted primarily by immune cells called leukocytes to mount a protective response against invading pathogens. Of the many cytokines in the human body, one of the most actively studied is tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a). In the April 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of NIDCR grantees led by Salomon Amar discovered a protein called LPS-induced STAT6(B) that directly interacts with the so-called LITAF protein, forming a two-protein complex that relocates to the cell nucleus and regulates the transcription of TNF-a and other cytokines. This important mechanistic discovery will offer fresh insights into how the faulty transcription of certain cytokine genes might play a role in many immune disorders, including periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.


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This page last updated: February 26, 2014