ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre

Lab head: Professor Philip Hogg
Location: Level 4 West, Charles Perkin Centre D17

Control of immune cell activity via a redox switch in integrin

Primary supervisor: Joyce Chiu

Our immune system protects us from invasion of pathogens and toxic materials. Immune cells such as monocytes and neutrophils circulate in the blood to monitor foreign materials and elicit immune response to clear pathogens and dying cells from our body. Cell surface receptors known integrins are key adhesive molecules that connect extracellular matrix to cytoskeleton, and mediate adhesion and infiltration of immune cells to the site of injury or infection to mount an immune response. We have recently discovered a disulphide switch in platelet integrin that control ligand affinity. This disulphide switch is conserved in integrins found on immune cells. 

The aim of this project is to elucidate how this disulphide switch controls integrin-mediated functions such phagocytosis and migration of immune cells. Understanding this mechanism of control by disulphide switch inform regulation of immune responses as well as the pathogenesis of immune diseases and cancer. Techniques involved include proteomics, flow cytometry, molecular biology, microfluidics and microscopy.

Reference: Passam F, Chiu J, Ju L, Pijning A, Jahan Z, Mor-Cohen R, Yeheskel A, Kolšek K, Thärichen L, Aponte-Santamaría C, Gräter F, Hogg PJ. Mechano-redox control of integrin de-adhesion. Elife. 2018, Jun 22

Discipline: Pathology
Co-supervisors: Freda Passam
Keywords: Redox biochemistry, Proteomics, Infection and immunity