Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The kinase occupancy of CD4 and CD8 coreceptors is high, according to a new study published in PNAS.

T cell attacking cancer cell © SHUTTERSTOCK

Researchers at the Kennedy Institute and the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM) have shed light on an important and intensely debated puzzle in T cell biology - the partnership between coreceptors and Lck, the kinase responsible for signal initiation. CD4 and CD8 boost the sensitivity of T cells to signs of infection and cancer, and this discovery upends some earlier models of how they work.

For the first time, DPhil student Alex Mørch, working with Professors Michael Dustin (Kennedy) and Simon Davis (MRC WIMM), took advantage of technologies developed at Oxford to address the question in living cells.  They used non-invasive fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to study in situ interactions between molecules and were able to demonstrate that Lck interacts with nearly all CD4 molecules and also with the majority of CD8 molecules in both T cells, thymocytes and model cells.

Commenting on the study, published in PNAS, Alex said: ‘These findings help settle the question of kinase occupancy in T cells. This point was controversial with some earlier studies suggesting that only a small minority of CD4 and CD8 had Lck associated. Our findings could have important implications for developing improved T cell-based therapies since Lck kindles critical signalling reactions.’ 

Similar stories

The new Botnar strategy is announced

After a year as the Director of the Botnar Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences, Professor Jonathan Rees announces a new structure and strategy that will further enhance research and treatment of bone, joint and musculoskeletal conditions.

New global health grant to improve outcomes for patients with hip fracture

Hip fracture patients in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) in Asia are set to benefit from a new study that aims to bring best practice programmes to improve quality of life for patients and reduce healthcare costs.

NDORMS welcomes great-granddaughter of former Head of Department

Julia Strubell, great-granddaughter of Professor Josep Trueta, visited NDORMS to find out about his time here and to share her own work with staff and students.

Botnar researchers awarded Fellowships

Arani Vivekanantham has been awarded an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and a Versus Arthritis Clinical Research Fellowship, and Rachel Kuo was awarded an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship.

Better diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases moves a step closer

A study published in Nature outlines a way to find the crucial peptides (protein fragments) that drive autoimmunity, as well as the immune cells that respond to them.

New drug offers hope for people with hand osteoarthritis

A new study, published in Science Translational Medicine by researchers at the University of Oxford has identified that Talarozole, a drug that is known to increase retinoic acid, was able to prevent osteoarthritis (OA) in disease models.