Systems Biology of T Cell Activation
T lymphocytes are central players in the adaptive immune response to pathogens. Cytotoxic T cells are able to identify and eliminate virally infected cells, while helper T cells support B lymphocyte-dependent antibody production as well as produce the cytokines that will determine whether a cell- or antibody-mediated immune response is required. The activation of T cells by pathogens is a complex process requiring multiple tightly regulated signaling pathways. Defects within this network, however, can cause severe and chronic disorders such as autoimmunity. Therefore, improving our understanding of how T cells discriminate between antigens and how these signals are organized to yield distinct immune responses is of importance as this may lead to the identification of novel drug targets and better therapeutic strategies.
KeywordsTransmembrane Adaptor Modular Binding Domain Cell Activation Network
The authors would like to thank Luca Simeoni and Tilo Beyer for helpful discussion and apologize to those colleagues whose work we have not cited particularly with respect to the complexity of TCR signaling. This work was supported in part by grants from the German Research Society (DFG FOR521), the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF FORSYS program) and the Sachsen-Anhalt Ministry of Education (Research Focus Dynamic Systems).
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