University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Study Finds Pro-Death Proteins Required to Regulate Healthy Immune Function
(PHILADELPHIA) – Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that proteins known to promote cell death are also necessary for the maturation and proliferation of immune cells. Activation of T-cell receptors on the surface of lymphocytes by foreign antigens initiate a calcium-mediated signaling pathway that ends in cell differentiation and growth. The Penn scientists discovered that in the cells that lack the pro-death proteins Bax and Bak, calcium signaling is disrupted and energy production is reduced. Restoration of Bax corrects the signaling problems, increases energy production, and stimulates cell division.