Allergy and Immunology News from the Journal Nature

Mast cell-orchestrated immunity to pathogens

Although mast cells were discovered more than a century ago, their functions beyond their role in allergic responses remained elusive until recently. However, there is a growing appreciation that an important physiological function of these cells is the recognition of pathogens and modulation of appropriate immune responses. Because of their ability to instantly release several pro-inflammatory mediators from intracellular stores and their location at the host–environment interface, mast cells have been shown to be crucial for optimal immune responses during infection.

The SYK tyrosine kinase: an evolutionarily ancient crucial player in diverse biological functions

Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) is known to have a crucial role in adaptive immune receptor signalling. However, recent reports indicate that SYK also mediates other, unexpectedly diverse biological functions, including cellular adhesion, innate immune recognition, osteoclast maturation, platelet activation and vascular development. SYK is activated by C-type lectins and integrins, and activates new targets, including the CARD9–BCL-10–MALT1 pathway and the NLRP3 inflammasome. There is an evolutionarily ancient origin of SYK-mediated signalling. Moreover, SYK has a crucial role in autoimmune diseases and haematological malignancies.

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PU.1 is a unique transcription factor for the pro-allergic 'TH9 cell' lineage.

Proposed mechanism for TH9-induced allergic airway inflammation. JACI, 2012.

TLR2 directly regulates TH17 cell responses and TH17 cell-mediated autoimmune disease.

K63-linked polyubiquitin chains are potent intracellular signalling molecules of innate immunity.

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