Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Giant nanomachine aids the immune system: Theoretical chemistry

Lars Schäfer and his team use simulations to clarify the structure and dynamics of proteins. © RUB, Kramer
Lars Schäfer and his team use simulations to clarify the structure and dynamics of proteins. © RUB, Kramer

Abstract:
Cells that are infected by a virus or carry a carcinogenic mutation, for example, produce proteins foreign to the body. Antigenic peptides resulting from the degradation of these exogenous proteins inside the cell are loaded by the peptide-loading complex onto so-called major histocompatibility complex molecules (MHC for short) and presented on the cell surface. There, they are specifically identified by T-killer cells, which ultimately leads to the elimination of the infected cells. This is how our immune system defends us against pathogens.

Giant nanomachine aids the immune system: Theoretical chemistry

Bochum, Germany | Posted on August 28th, 2020

Machine operates with atomic precision

The peptide-loading complex ensures that the MHC molecules are correctly loaded with antigens. "The peptide-loading complex is a biological nanomachine that has to work with atomic precision in order to efficiently protect us against pathogens that cause disease," says Professor Lars Schäfer, Head of the Molecular Simulation research group at the Centre for Theoretical Chemistry at RUB.

In previous studies, other teams successfully determined the structure of the peptide-loading complex using cryo-electron microscopy, but only with a resolution of about 0.6 to 1.0 nanometres, i.e. not in atomic detail. Based on these experimental data, Schäfer's research team in collaboration with Professor Gunnar Schröder from Forschungszentrum Jülich has now succeeded in creating an atomic structure of the peptide-loading complex.

Exploring structure and dynamics

"The experimental structure is impressive. But only with our computer-based methods were we able to extract the maximum information content contained in the experimental data," explains Schröder. The atomic model enabled the researchers to perform detailed molecular dynamics computer simulations of the peptide-loading complex and thus to study not only the structure but also the dynamics of the biological nanomachine.

Since the simulated system is extremely large with its 1.6 million atoms, the computing time at the Leibnitz Supercomputing Centre in Munich aided this task considerably. "Using the high-performance computer, we were able to push into the microsecond time scale in our simulations. This revealed the role of sugar groups bound to the protein for the mechanism of peptide loading, which had previously only been incompletely understood," outlines Dr. Olivier Fisette, postdoc researcher at the Molecular Simulation research group.

Direct intervention in immune processes

The atomic model of the peptide-loading complex now facilitates further studies. For example, some viruses try to cheat our immune system by selectively switching off certain elements of the peptide-loading complex. "One feasible objective we'd like to pursue is the targeted intervention in these processes," concludes Schäfer.

###

Funding

The research was funded by the German Research Foundation as part of the Cluster of Excellence Ruhr Explores Solvation Resolv (EXC 2033).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lars Schäfer

49-234-322-1582

@ruhrunibochum

Copyright © Ruhr-Universität Bochum

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Original publication

Related News Press

News and information

Optimized method to detect high-dimensional entanglement December 3rd, 2021

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Two-dimensional bipolar magnetic semiconductors with high Curie-temperature and electrically controllable spin polarization realized in exfoliated Cr(pyrazine)2 monolayers December 3rd, 2021

Review on the femtosecond laser precision micro/nano-engineering December 3rd, 2021

Possible Futures

Researchers develop polyimide-mica nanocomposite film with high resistance to low earth orbit environments December 3rd, 2021

Researchers realize ultra-high precision search for exotic interactions December 3rd, 2021

Optimized method to detect high-dimensional entanglement December 3rd, 2021

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Molecular Machines

Nanotech scientists create world's smallest origami bird March 17th, 2021

Controlling the speed of enzyme motors brings biomedical applications of nanorobots closer: Recent advances in this field have made micro- and nanomotors promising devices for solving many biomedical problems October 13th, 2020

Kavli Lectures: The art of building small and innovating for industrial impact August 7th, 2020

Polymers self-assembling like links of a chain for innovative materials: Nature just published the research on unprecedented "Self-assembled poly-catenanes" July 16th, 2020

Nanomedicine

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Immune system-stimulating nanoparticle could lead to more powerful vaccines: The potent new adjuvant could be used to help make vaccines against HIV and other infectious diseases December 3rd, 2021

Scientists develop promising vaccine method against recurrent UTI November 19th, 2021

Cancer cells use ‘tiny tentacles’ to suppress the immune system: With the power of nanotechnology, investigators have discovered that cancer cells strengthen by forming nanotubes that they use to suck mitochondria out of immune cells November 19th, 2021

Discoveries

Researchers develop polyimide-mica nanocomposite film with high resistance to low earth orbit environments December 3rd, 2021

Researchers realize ultra-high precision search for exotic interactions December 3rd, 2021

Optimized method to detect high-dimensional entanglement December 3rd, 2021

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Announcements

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Two-dimensional bipolar magnetic semiconductors with high Curie-temperature and electrically controllable spin polarization realized in exfoliated Cr(pyrazine)2 monolayers December 3rd, 2021

Review on the femtosecond laser precision micro/nano-engineering December 3rd, 2021

Development of a single-process platform for the manufacture of graphene quantum dots: Precisely controls the bonding configuration of heteroatoms in graphene quantum dots through simple chemical processes. Practical application and commercialization in various fields is expected December 3rd, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Using green tea as reducing reagent for the preparation of nanomaterials to synthesize ammonia December 3rd, 2021

Researchers develop polyimide-mica nanocomposite film with high resistance to low earth orbit environments December 3rd, 2021

Researchers realize ultra-high precision search for exotic interactions December 3rd, 2021

Development of a single-process platform for the manufacture of graphene quantum dots: Precisely controls the bonding configuration of heteroatoms in graphene quantum dots through simple chemical processes. Practical application and commercialization in various fields is expected December 3rd, 2021

Nanobiotechnology

Scientists edge closer to probe that would inspect atherosclerotic plaques by forcing molecules to sound their presence December 3rd, 2021

Immune system-stimulating nanoparticle could lead to more powerful vaccines: The potent new adjuvant could be used to help make vaccines against HIV and other infectious diseases December 3rd, 2021

Scientists develop promising vaccine method against recurrent UTI November 19th, 2021

Cancer cells use ‘tiny tentacles’ to suppress the immune system: With the power of nanotechnology, investigators have discovered that cancer cells strengthen by forming nanotubes that they use to suck mitochondria out of immune cells November 19th, 2021

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project