Molecular dynamics and lymphocyte decisions


The immunological synapse (IS) is the specialized adhesion that supports communication between leukocytes. The IS forms the molecular basis for antigen recognition and acquisition, cell activation/differentiation, and pathogen cytotoxicity(1-9). Cellular decisions, such as when to proliferate or differentiate, are dictated by the coordinated temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of molecular components of signalling networks, rather than by their isolated functions(10-13). A series of studies suggest that lymphocyte decisions are dictated by the molecular dynamics of signalling networks organized at the IS, which integrates signals from different immune, costimulatory, cytokine and adhesion surface receptors(6, 14-21). The lab aims to characterize the molecular dynamics at the IS that mediate lymphocyte decisions. We expect that our research will help to understand how this precise molecular dynamics enables immune responses while preventing inflammatory pathologies.


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