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UNIGE | How do immune cells get activated?

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Decoding the activation mechanism of the CCR5 receptor

By studying the structure of cellular receptors and of the molecules that activate them, scientists at the University of Geneva & University of Basel are deciphering the details of immune cell activation.


Chemokine receptors, located at the surface of many immune cells, play an important role in their function. Chemokines are small proteins that bind to these receptors and control the movement and behaviour of white blood cells. However, despite the importance of this family of receptors, their activation mechanism remains poorly understood. In Switzerland, a research consortium from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen has succeeded in decoding the activation mechanism of the CCR5 receptor, a member of this family implicated in several diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, and the respiratory complications of COVID-19. This discovery represents an important step in the understanding of chemokine receptor biology, providing valuable insights for improving new drugs that this important family of receptors.  This work can be found in the journal Science Advances.


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