Sensing Danger: The Biology of TLR-Mediated Inflammation

By Eoin Mac Réamoinn Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are renowned for their fundamental roles in innate sensing and initiating inflammatory responses. TLRs accomplish this remarkable task through interactions with conserved molecular structures known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), such as lipopolysaccharides, that are expressed by microbial species. Once ligated, TLRs propagate stimuli via one of two […]

Exosomes: Small Players with a Big Role

By Ryan Wallis, PhD student, QMUL, Blizard Institute Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry The microscopic world of cell biology was first explored by Robert Hooke in the 17th century and published in his work, Micrographia, in 1665. He marvelled at the revelation that an organism such as a cork plant was actually comprised […]

The role of IFN gamma in inflammation, cancer and autoimmune disease

By Sinéad Kinsella PhD, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre Interferon overview Interferons (IFN) are a family of cytokines which, upon secretion, play a central role in mediating the innate and adaptive immune response to viral and bacterial challenges. Isaacs and Lindenmann first discovered a molecule they called interferon in the 1950s, which is now referred […]

Neurofilament Light chain (NEFL) as a biomarker for neuronal damage

By Sinéad Kinsella PhD, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre NEFL overview Neurofilament Light chain (NEFL, or NfL) is one of three subunits of the neurofilament filaments, which are intermediate filament proteins expressed in neurons that play a central role in the transport of molecules throughout the axon, and contribute to the integrity of the neuronal […]

The role of IL-18 in health and disease

By Sinéad Kinsella PhD, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre IL-18 overview Interleukin-18 (IL-18), located on chromosome 11 in humans, encodes a 24 kDa polypeptide that was first described in 1989, and is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which induces Type II interferon (IFNg) secretion (Dinarello et al, 2013; Tomura et al, 1998; Nakamura et al, 1989). In […]