Design-controlled activation of mouse T lymphocytes
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel (Institute of Biology III - Molecular Immunology)
The activation of T lymphocytes, also called T cells, is crucial to initiate an adaptive immune response and is dependent on stimuli through the T cell antigen receptor (TCR). The TCR is phosphorylated upon antigen-binding. These phospho-tyrosines serve as docking sites for SH2 domain-containing proteins that activate downstream signalling, such kinase pathways. One main pathway is the Ras-Raf-Erk cascade. These signalling cascades then lead to the activation of the T cells and an immune response. In this project we plan to explore the possibility to use designed signalling molecules, such as kinases, whose activity can be controlled on demand, in order to manipulate T cell activation. With these new approaches we hope to answer questions that so far were difficult to answer.