Molecular basis for growth factor surveillance in natural killer cells
Dr Alexander David Barrow
Many tumours secrete Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-D to promote tumour growth. NK cells have evolved the activating ITAM receptor NKp44 to sense the expression of PDGF-D and trigger the secretion of cytokines that halt tumour growth. An alternatively spliced NKp44 isoform encodes an ‘ITIM’ that is predicted to be inhibitory and is associated with poor survival in cancer. Tumours may induce this inhibitory NKp44 form to dampen NK cell function as a form of immune evasion. Alex’s group is determining the functions of the different NKp44 isoforms and how they impact NK cell surveillance of cancers expressing PDGF-D.
Dr Patrick Constantinescu, Research Officer
Alexander James Sedgwick, Masters student
Yuhan Sun, Masters student
This research project is available to Honours students to join as part of their thesis.
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