Team investigating how effector and killer T cells can be controlled to destroy cancer-resistant cancer cells

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Left: Xinying Zong, PhD; Yongqiang Feng, PhD; and Xiaolei Hao, PhD, all immunology of St. Jude, they are investigating how effector and killer T cells can be controlled to destroy cancer-resistant cancer cells. Credit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Effector and killer T cells are types of immune cells. Their job is to attack pathogens and cancers. These cells can also go after normal cells that cause autoimmune diseases. But, if used properly, they can destroy cancer-resistant cancer cells.

The scientists of St. Jude wanted to understand how these T cells are controlled. They looked , DNA sequences that when bound to certain proteins determine how genes are activated or activated.

The scientists found that enhancers in a gene called Foxp3 work as a pair to keep killer effectors and T cells under control. Enhancers working together are essential.

“These enhancers go together like left and right hands,” said Yong Feng, Ph.D., of St. Jude Immunology. “They work together in different ways to curb effector and killer T cells, playing a critical role in how ensures that it only attacks the right target. “

He Journal of Experimental Medicine published this work.


How transcription factors work together in cancer formation


More information:
Xinying Zong et al, Foxp3 enhancers synergize to maximize the suppression capacity of regulatory T cells, Journal of Experimental Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1084 / jem.20202415

Citation: Team investigating how effector and killer T cells can be controlled to destroy treatment-resistant cancer cells (2021, June 4) retrieved June 4, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/ news / 2021-06-team-effector-killer- cells-cancer.html

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