Volume 3.18 | May 12

Human Immunology News 3.18 May 12, 2015
Human Immunology News
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Insight into How We Protect Ourselves from Certain Bacteria and Fungi
Scientists have shown that a specific gene determines the development and function of important cells that bridge the gap between our fast-acting ‘innate’, and slower-acting ‘adaptive’, immune systems. [Press release from Garvan Institute discussing online publication in The Journal of Experimental Medicine]
Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Widespread Seasonal Gene Expression Reveals Annual Differences in Human Immunity and Physiology
Seasonal variations are rarely considered a contributing component to human tissue function or health, although many diseases and physiological process display annual periodicities. Investigators found more than 4,000 protein-coding mRNAs in white blood cells and adipose tissue to have seasonal expression profiles, with inverted patterns observed between Europe and Oceania. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Human Caspase-4 Mediates Noncanonical Inflammasome Activation against Gram-Negative Bacterial Pathogens
Researchers sought to define the inflammatory caspases in primary human macrophages that regulate inflammasome responses to gram-negative bacteria. They found that human macrophages activate inflammasomes specifically in response to diverse gram-negative bacterial pathogens that introduce bacterial products into the host cytosol using specialized secretion systems. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

PD-1 and Tim-3 Pathways Are Associated with Regulatory CD8+ T-Cell Function in Decidua and Maintenance of Normal Pregnancy
T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (Tim-3) and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) are important negative immune regulatory molecules involved in viral persistence and tumor metastasis. Investigators demonstrated that Tim-3+PD-1+CD8+ T cells from decidua greatly outnumbered those from peripheral blood during human early pregnancy. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

FAS-Ligand Regulates Differential Activation-Induced Cell Death of Human T-Helper 1 and 17 Cells in Healthy Donors and Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Scientists generated stable clones of inflammatory T-helper (Th) subsets involved in autoimmune diseases, such as Th1, Th17 and Th1/17 cells, from healthy donors and multiple sclerosis patients and measured activation-induced cell death (AICD). They found that human Th1 cells were sensitive, whereas Th17 and Th1/17 were resistant, to AICD. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Retargeting Pre-Existing Human Antibodies to a Bacterial Pathogen with an Alpha-Gal Conjugated Aptamer
The authors examined whether anti-galactose-α-1,3-galactosyl-β-1,4-N-acetyl-glucosamine (α-Gal) antibodies could be recruited and redirected to exert anti-bacterial activity. The anti-group A Streptococcus (GAS) alphamer was shown to recruit anti-Gal antibodies to the streptococcal surface in an α-Gal-specific manner, elicit uptake and killing of the bacteria by human phagocytes, and slow growth of invasive GAS in human whole blood. [J Mol Med] Abstract | Press Release

Cellular Immunotherapy as Maintenance Therapy Prolongs the Survival of the Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer
Researchers investigated the efficacy and safety of cellular immunotherapy with autologous natural killer, γδT, and cytokine-induced killer cells as maintenance therapy for small cell lung cancer patients. [J Transl Med] Abstract | Full Article

Human Primary Immune Cells Exhibit Distinct Mechanical Properties that Are Modified by Inflammation
Single-cell microplate assays were performed to measure the viscoelastic moduli of different human myeloid primary antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The effect of inflammation on the mechanical properties was independent of the induction of expression of commonly used APC maturation markers, making myeloid APC rigidity an additional feature of inflammation. [Biophys J] Abstract

2DL1, 2DL2 and 2DL3 All Contribute to KIR Phenotype Variability on Human NK Cells
Researchers investigated killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) expression in a healthy human cohort that they had previously characterized in depth at a genetic level, with KIR allele typing and human leukocyte antigen class I ligand genotypes available for all donors. [Genes Immun] Abstract

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Perception of Self: Distinguishing Autoimmunity from Autoinflammation
The authors provide an overview of the monocyte intracellular pathways that drive autoinflammation and autoimmunity. They convey recent findings on how the type I interferon pathway can modulate IL-1β signaling (and vice versa), and discuss why IL-1β-mediated autoinflammatory diseases do not perpetuate into autoimmunity. [Nat Rev Rheumatol] Abstract

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Pivotal Data for Roche Medicines in Lung and Blood Cancers to Be Presented
Roche announced that data from ten of its approved cancer medicines and ten of its investigational medicines will be presented. These data demonstrate the strength of Roche’s oncology pipeline, particularly in cancer immunotherapy and personalized medicine. [Press release from Roche Ltd. discussing research to be presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

Biothera to Present Additional Data on Imprime PGG’s Potential to Alleviate Tumor-Mediated Immunosuppression
Additional data showing Biothera’s investigational cancer immunotherapy Imprime PGG can alleviate tumor-mediated immunosuppression and potentially strengthen the body’s ability to recognize and kill tumor cells will be presented. [Press release from Biothera, The Immune Health Company discussing research to be presented at the 2015 American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Annual Meeting, New Orleans]
Press Release | Poster

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Lilly and BioNTech Announce Research Collaboration on Novel Cancer Immunotherapies
Eli Lilly and Company and BioNTech AG announced they have entered into a research collaboration to discover novel cancer immunotherapies. The companies will seek to use the power of the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells and create possible new treatment options for cancer patients. [Eli Lilly and Company] Press Release

Phase I Trial of Immunotherapy Opens for Children with Relapsed or Treatment-Resistant Leukemia
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center has joined a clinical trial of immunotherapy for children with relapsed or treatment-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia. [Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s] Press Release

Medigene Announces Milestone Payment in Phase I/II Trial with Dendritic Cell (DC) Vaccines for AML
Medigene AG announced that the progress achieved in its recently initiated clinical Phase I/II trial with DC vaccines for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) gives rise to a milestone payment amounting to EUR 700,000 to former contributing shareholders of Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH to be made within the next five months. [Medigene AG] Press Release

NewLink Genetics’ IMPRESS Phase III Pancreatic Cancer Trial with Algenpantucel-L to Continue Following Second Interim Analysis
NewLink Genetics Corporation announced the continuation without any modification or sample size adjustment for its pivotal Phase III immunotherapy for pancreatic resectable cancer study of algenpantucel-L for patients with surgically resected pancreatic cancer following the second planned interim data analysis. [NewLink Genetics Corporation] Press Release

Formula Pharmaceuticals Acquires Next-Generation, Allogeneic, Non-Viral Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Immunotherapy Platform
Formula Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the acquisition of worldwide exclusive rights to an allogeneic, non-viral CAR technology platform which leverages cytokine-induced killer cells as immune effector cells. [Formula Pharmaceuticals, 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 4th European Congress of Immunology (ECI) 2015
September 6-9, 2015
Vienna, Austria

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the human immunology community.
NEW Process Facilitator (Opexa Therapeutics)

NEW Scientist – Immunology Discovery (Genentech, Inc.)

Scientist – Immunology and Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Clinical Immunology (Amgen, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Immunology (University of California, San Francisco)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Mucosal Immunology and Mycobiome (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Immunology (Institut Curie)

Associate Scientist – Immunology and Stem Cell Biology (Nerdbio Inc.)

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