How the immune system controls the immune response
By J.A.G. O’Connor and R.J. Brown article A key step in developing new medicines and vaccines is to find the molecular mechanisms of how the immune systems respond to different types of molecules, according to researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Galveston.
In the new study, the researchers showed that the immune cells in the inner membrane of the mitochondria, the battery of cells that power the cell’s metabolism, respond differently to molecules that are chemically or chemically-like compounds.
The inner membrane is made of more than 300 proteins, and each one is different in its ability to protect the cell against viruses and bacteria.
These proteins, called mitochondria-derived proteins, or mitochondria receptors, act as molecular switches that regulate cell activity and behavior, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mitochondria receptors are present in about half of all cells in our bodies, but their function is not well understood.
In order to learn how mitochondria receptor proteins are interacting with molecules that can be produced from proteins, the UT Health Science team turned to a protein called the cytochrome oxidase, or CYP-2.
The UT team identified three CYP2 receptors that are important for regulating mitochondrial activity, and then used their model to identify a second set of CYP3 receptors that can also be important for mitochondria signaling.
These three compounds, together with a third compound, CYP4, also contribute to the immune responses of the inner mitochondrial membrane.
The researchers also identified another group of CYPs that can mediate cellular responses to viruses.
The new model shows that the outer membrane of mitochondria can have a key role in controlling cell activity, but that it is not just the outer mitochondrial membrane that is important.
The model also shows that in response to viruses, the inner and outer membrane can respond in different ways.
“The cytochromes are a part of the cell and can have multiple functions.
The outer membrane controls mitochondrial activity and the inner is a major player in the immune reaction,” said lead author J.E. Pang, Ph.
D., an assistant professor of cellular biology and molecular microbiology.
“We think that the cytoplasm is a key player in this process.”
The study also showed that different kinds of compounds, such as compounds that are structurally similar to cytocholate, can interact with the mitochondrials to produce a reaction in the mitochondrion that is different from the response produced by a compound with the same chemical structure.
Panguay, who was a graduate student in Panguaya’s lab, and colleagues recently published a paper describing the new findings in the journal Molecular and Cellular Microbiology.
“In our study, we showed that a particular compound, cytochalolic acid, has an effect on the cytopsome, which is an outer membrane protein that binds to the cytrinositol phosphate-protein complex,” Panguays co-senior author Y.L. Huang said.
“It changes the structure of the cytosome, and it allows the cytic acid to interact with mitochondria and change their activity.”
“Our model showed that mitochondria cells can be infected by viruses and are able to become infected with viruses.
In this model, viruses are able change the mitochondrial membrane and trigger a response in the outer mitochondria,” P. Huang added.
P., et al., Cytochrome cytocycle oxidase regulates mitochondrial membrane function in vitro and in vivo.