Concerning Immune System Responses and Gene Mods

Natural Proteins that act as Immune-suppressants:  TGF-beta, Neurokinin B --> (which produces Phosphocholine), MHC (HLA-E/G).  They don't suppress the entire immune system, they just protect the cell that is producing that protein from getting attacked by your body.

 Because these are proteins, they can be encoded for via genes.  I guess you guys can see where I am going with this.  Anyway, cheers


  • TGF-beta: not really a good choice. for what I found it messes with the cell cycle, can cause apoptosis (cell suicide) and is related to both protecting cancer from immune cells and feeding it by creating blood vessels.

    Neurokinin B (plus Phosphocholine): couldn't really find anything in detail, sounds promissing, though. (is connected to switching genes on/off, eg)

    MHC: this is actually something like the passport of a cell. It tells the immune system what the cell produces and is therefor responsible for the immune reaction. Some viruses get rid of it (as does cancer) for cloaking themselves from the immune system, but we even got killer cells against anything without MHC...

    HLA-G: now, this looks pretty good. where the HLA-E seems to be such a protein simply blocking the MHC, this G variant seems to do more of a regulation. It appears to be what helps pregnant women keeping their babies save from their immune system.
  • edited January 2011
    Excellent, I was waiting for someone to shoot holes through this thing.  Now I know where I can focus my research (thanks Ben!).  It's a bit much trying to search through scientific papers concerning all of those proteins.

    Unfortunately I can't work on this stuff anytime soon, as I'd require a Biosafety Level 2 lab, which is annoying. 
  • I would suggest to do theoretical work first! Working in a S1 lab can be annoying enough, especially if something goes wrong just because of theoretical backround. Start on wikipedia, most of our biochemistry tasks were solved with it. Way easier to understand than the papers, and usually pretty accurate. Not a source to trust your life on, but for starters: great stuff!
    Also be aware, that you are dealing with stuff no one has figured out yet. If they had, several big issues would be solved. Cancer for once, a big bit of aging is another. For example: we all have stem cells, they are what keeps us going (for longer than 5-7 years in a row) yet their activity in adults is reduced drastically. Why? 'Cause anything else leads to cancer. They are the ultimate stem cells, using EVERYTHING our genome offers. They are immortal. That is why it is so hard to get rid of them. And they are one of the big problems we have in modifying.
  • @Ben : I understand that the solution won't be simple, but I figured it would be a good place to start (don't blame me, I'm young and naive).  As far as sources go, I prefer scientific papers, as they contain specific technical information and reliable sources.  The problem arises when I have to read 15+ papers to figure out if there is any relevant information in it.

    As far as theoretical work is concerned, I am building my arsenal via schooling - so hopefully I'll have enough detailed biochemistry, genetics, and calculus knowledge to begin to effectively challenge this problem.  
  • Ok, didn't want to discourage you, just sounded as you were being a bit too optimistic. I also think it could be done and that those kick-ass labs aren't the only way (with this I mean some sort of "official research")

    Prefering papers is fine! They are way better, but you never start on the detail. First, you read the abstract ;) And what I wrote before was based on a mixture of knowledge from uni and wikipedia. Then you get an idea what might be important, when reading papers. Plus, at uni I learned, that with papers you at times have to be very careful, too. So reading popular-science can prepare for that ;)
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