Blossoming success for immune system project

Posted by er134 at Nov 04, 2013 11:39 AM |
Scientists have mapped structure of complex – a target for diseases including strokes and heart attacks
Blossoming success for immune system project

Initiating complexes of the Classical and Lectin pathways of Complement.

Scientists from our Departments of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation and Biochemistry have mapped the "bouquet-like" structure of a key part of the body's immune system responsible for neutralising bacteria and viruses.

The project, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, has mapped the structure of complement component C1 - a large complex of the immune system which is responsible for spotting foreign agents in the blood which can cause disease - known as pathogens.

When the complex comes across bacteria, viruses, fungi and other objects, it sets off a process called the complement system which stimulates the body’s immune system to attack and kill the foreign cells.

This new study has been extremely useful for helping understand our own immune system - and could help scientists develop treatments to prevent the complement system from going wrong.