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Innate Immunity / PRR / Inflammasome

NLRP3: a sophisticated drug target

NLRP3 (NOD-like receptor pyrin domain-containing protein 3, cryopyrin or NALP3) is the best described inflammasome sensor and an attractive drug target. NLRP3 assembles into a multiprotein inflammasome complex to induce the secretion of IL-1β/IL-18 and pyroptosis in response to infections and cellular damage. However, NLRP3 inflammasome functions can also be detrimental to the host, as its abberant or chronic activation is linked with pathologies such as type-2 diabetes, gouty arthritis, cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases, and rare genetic disorders such as CAPS (cryopyrin-associated-periodic-syndrome). Fast-paced research now aims at filling the gaps in the comprehension of NLRP3 inflammasome activation and regulation to develop novel therapeutics.

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Previous reviews

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma Contamination of Cell Cultures

Mycoplasma contamination of cell cultures has been known for decades and disturbingly, has become widespread, threatening academic labs to biopharmaceutical production facilities. In fact, depending on the laboratory, anywhere from 10% to 85% of cell lines may be contaminated. Mycoplasmas can drastically alter your cells and consequently, skew your research results

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma Eradication

Mycoplasma contamination of cultured cells is a massive problem in research labs and industrial facilities. In fact, depending on the setting, anywhere from 10% to 85% of cell lines might be contaminated. Mycoplasma infection can drastically alter the functions and activities of eukaryotic cells, leading to experimental artifacts and consequently, to unreliable results.

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma detection in cell culture

Mycoplasmas are the smallest and simplest self-replicating organisms. Due to their minimal genome, they cannot perform metabolic functions such as production of a cell wall, or synthesis of nucleotides or amino acids. Therefore, they exist strictly as parasites, using diverse organisms as hosts, including humans, animals, insects and plants.

Innate Immunity / Inflammasome

Inflammasome activation: a matter of caspases

Inflammasomes are multimeric protein complexes that are crucial for host defense to infection and endogenous danger signals. They promote the secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 and cause a rapid and pro-inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis.

Vaccine & immunoglobulin / Antibodies

Antibody Isotypes

Antibodies are immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules made up of 2 large heavy chains (~55 kDa each) and 2 small light chains (~25 kDa each). Heavy chains are bound to light chains by sulfhydryl linkages to form a Y shaped structure. The stem of the Y contains the constant region (Fc) and the two prongs of the Y contain the variable region (Fab). The Fab interacts with the antigen and therefore is...

Innate Immunity / STING / PRR

Deciphering the STING Paradox

STING (stimulator of interferon genes), alternatively known as MPYS, TMEM173, MITA and ERIS, is a key sensor of cytosolic nucleic acids.
In the past year, an incredible amount has been revealed on the biology of STING. As the studies were published, the complexity of STING became apparent. STING, initially thought to serve solely as an adaptor protein for mediating signaling by...

Innate Immunity / PRR

β-Glucans: bittersweet ligands of Dectin-1

β-Glucans have been consumed for many centuries for their healing properties. Since the discovery of their immunomodulating capabilities, about five decades ago, β-glucans have attracted a great deal of attention in the biomedical arena.

Innate Immunity / PRR / STING

cGAS - The long awaited cytosolic DNA sensor?

The detection of viral and bacterial nucleic acids by the innate immune system has become an area of intense research.
Cytosolic DNA is well-known to induce the production of type I interferons (IFNs) through the STING-TBK1-IRF3 axis but the mechanism whereby it is sensed remains elusive.

Innate Immunity / PRR

Multi-TLR Agonists: Potential for Therapeutic Success

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the best studied pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and their importance in stimulating innate and adaptive immunity is now well established.
TLRs are sensors of microbial components as well as host-derived endogenous molecules released by injured tissues. TLRs play a critical role in defense against invading pathogens but are also involved in other...

Innate Immunity / STING / Vaccination

STING in Vaccine Adjuvants

Adjuvants enhance and direct the adaptive immune response to vaccine antigens through various mechanisms, some of which are still poorly understood. Recently, STING and more generally the host nucleic acid sensing machinery were shown to play an essential role in vaccination.

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