Regulation of lymphocyte activation and proliferation and synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines by the Caprin-1/G3BP-1 heteromeric complex

To fend off infections, our immune system has evolved effective strategies. These include rapidly increasing the number of infection fighting immune cells, including cytokines that promote an inflammatory response to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses and other infectious agents. The key to the effectiveness of this strategy is striking a balance between creating an inflammatory response sufficient to destroy the infectious agents without causing severe damage to the surrounding tissues. In some cases, poorly controlled or misdirected immune responses cause long term damage and disease, including arthritis and asthma. Samuel Solomon is studying how the body regulates the immune response, in particular the role of RNA binding proteins such as Caprin-1 and G3BP-1 in the process. Caprin-1 and G3BP-1 are thought to be key players in the signaling process, which controls the action of inflammatory cytokines. Solomon is studying how they affect the production of cytokines and what are the effects when these proteins are absent or functioning abnormally. This research will contribute to our understanding of immune function, which could lead to the design of novel, better and more effective cures for infections and auto-immune diseases.