Volume 2.13 | Apr 8

Human Immunology News 2.13 April 8, 2014
Human Immunology News
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The Intracellular B30.2 Domain of Butyrophilin 3A1 Binds Phosphoantigens to Mediate Activation of Human Vγ9Vδ2 T Cells
Key to phosphoantigen (pAg)-mediated activation of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells is the butyrophilin 3A1 (BTN3A1) protein that contains an intracellular B30.2 domain critical to pAg reactivity. Investigators have demonstrated through structural, biophysical, and functional approaches that the intracellular B30.2 domain of BTN3A1 directly binds pAg through a positively charged surface pocket. [Immunity] Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Monocytes Activate Natural Killer Cells via Inflammasome-Induced Interleukin 18 in Response to Hepatitis C Virus Replication
Production of interferon-γ by natural killer (NK) cells is attenuated during chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus. Researchers investigated whether this is due to intrinsic or extrinsic mechanisms of NK cells. [Gastroenterology] Abstract

Two Functional Lupus-Associated BLK Promoter Variants Control Cell-Type- and Developmental-Stage-Specific Transcription
Results demonstrated that both lupus-associated functional variants contribute to the autoimmune disease association by modulating transcription of BLK in B cells and thus potentially altering immune responses. [Am J Hum Genet] Abstract

Granzyme K Synergistically Potentiates LPS-Induced Cytokine Responses in Human Monocytes
Researchers showed that granzyme K (GrK) binds to Gram-negative bacteria and their cell-wall component lipopolysaccharide (LPS). GrK synergistically enhances LPS-induced cytokine release in vitro from primary human monocytes and in vivo in a mouse model of LPS challenge. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

T Cell GM-CSF Expression in Juvenile Arthritis Is Contingent Upon Th17 Plasticity
Investigators analysed the expression of T cell derived granulocyte monocyte colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the joints of patients with Juvenile idiopathic arthritis and investigated the development links between Th17 and GM-CSF+ T helper cells. [Arthritis Rheumatol] Abstract | Full Article

Ultra-Low Dose Interleukin-2 Promotes Immune-Modulating Function of Regulatory T Cells and Natural Killer Cells in Healthy Volunteers
Low dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) expands regulatory T cells and natural killer cells after stem cell transplantation (SCT) and may reduce graft versus host disease (GvHD). Researchers hypothesized that ultra-low dose IL-2 could serve as an immune-modulating agent for stem cell donors to prevent GvHD following SCT. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Invariant Natural Killer T Cells Developing in the Human Fetus Accumulate and Mature in the Small Intestine
Investigators showed that functional human fetal invariant natural killer T cells develop and differentiate in a tissue-specific manner during the second trimester. [Mucosal Immunol] Abstract

Toll-Like Receptors, Immunoproteasome and Regulatory T Cells in Children with Henoch-Schönlein Purpura and Primary IgA Nephropathy
The authors investigated some of the immunological features including Toll-like receptors, proteasome/immunoproteasome switch, and the regulatory T cell system in 63 children with Henoch-Schönlein purpura with/without renal involvement and in 25 with primary IgA nephropathy. [Pediatr Nephrol] Abstract

Elevated Levels of Serum IL-12 and IL-18 Are Associated with Lower Frequencies of CD4+CD25highFOXP3+ Regulatory T cells in Young Patients with Type 1 Diabetes
Since IL-12 and IL-18 mediate inflammatory response and Tregs exhibit anti-inflammatory potential, researchers aimed to examine their reciprocal relationship in patients with type 1 diabetes. [Inflammation] Full Article

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Immune Mediators of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Prostatitis types IIIa and IIIb are classified according to the presence of pain without concurrent presence of bacteria; however, it is becoming more evident that, although levels of bacteria are not directly associated with levels of pain, the presence of bacteria might act as the initiating factor that drives primary activation of mast-cell-mediated inflammation in the prostate. [Nat Rev Urol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the human immunology research field.
Early Findings Exploring the Relationship of PD-L1 Expression and Clinical Outcomes with MK-3475, Merck’s Investigational Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy
Merck announced the presentation of early findings from studies exploring the relationship between tumor PD-L1 expression and clinical outcomes following monotherapy treatment with MK-3475, an investigational anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, in patients with advanced melanoma and advanced non-small cell lung cancer. [Press release from Merck discussing research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2014, San Diego] Press Release

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Oncothyreon Announces Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Initiation of Phase III START2 Study with Tecemotide in Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Oncothyreon Inc. announced that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has initiated the international Phase III START2 study, which is designed to assess the efficacy and safety of the investigational MUC1 antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy tecemotide (also known as L-BLP25) in patients with unresectable, locally advanced Stage III non-small cell lung cancer. [Oncothyreon Inc.] Press Release

Immunicum Submits the Final Report for its Phase I/II Trial in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Showing Positive Safety Data and Promising Survival Data
Immunicum® AB submitted the final report to the Swedish Medical Products Agency regarding its clinical Phase I/II study in 12 patients with newly diagnosed kidney cancer, treated with the cancer vaccine INTUVAX®. [Immunicum AB] Press Release

Global Partners SillaJen, Transgene and Lee’s Pharmaceutical Confirm Clinical Development Plan for Pexa-Vec
Transgene SA Lee’s Pharmaceutical and SillaJen unveiled their late-stage clinical development plan for Pexa-Vec oncolytic immunotherapy. The companies plan to initiate a global Phase III study in the first-line treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients, as well as several additional Phase I/II trials in different cancers, both as a single agent and in combination with a variety of other treatments, including immunotherapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. [Transgene SA] Press Release

Adaptimmune Integrates BioLife Solutions CryoStor® Cell Freeze Media in Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial
BioLife Solutions, Inc. announced that Oxford, UK and Philadelphia, PA-based Adaptimmune Ltd has adopted the Company’s CryoStor clinical grade cell freeze media for use in Adaptimmune’s current Phase I/II clinical trial CT Antigen TCR-Engineered T Cells for Myeloma. [BioLife Solutions, Inc.] Press Release
National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW 28th European Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility Conference: From Genes to Therapy
June 25-28, 2014
Stockholm, Sweden

NEW Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCiS) 2014: Spotlight on Translational Immunology
June 25-28, 2014
Chicago, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the human immunology community.
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (AstraZeneca)

Postdoctoral Fellows – T-Cell Signal Transduction (The Netherlands Cancer Institute)

Research Assistant – Human Immunology (University of Oxford)

Director – Human Immunology (Biogen Idec)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow Position – Examining the Impact of the Neonatal Immune System on Perinatal Brain Injury (University of Gothenburg)

Assistant/Associate Professors – Allergic Inflammation and Sensory Neurobiology (North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine)

PhD Research Position – Immune Tolerance and Autoimmunity (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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