Today, we are going to learn about granzyme A, interferon-gamma, and an appropriately named receptor called Sortilin. People with healthy and functional immune systems use the Sortilin receptors, granzyme A and, interferon-gamma together to patrol their body for infected cells and fight viruses and bacteria. However, if you aren’t so lucky, and say you were low on serum and the Sortilin couldn’t sort, then what’s your granzyme A to do?
Well, it finds another receptor, because it’s savvy. It jumps in with some Vampires. Sorry, I meant with the VAMP7 molecules and makes its way to fight infected cells. However, without the Sortilin, less interferon-gamma is available, so it’s significantly weaker at fighting viruses and bacteria.
So, what does this all mean in the big picture? Well I can’t say for sure, but it’s always good that they are figuring out what our immune system is doing. Maybe I should say what our immune system isn’t doing and why. This is just a simple snapshot, I recommend you actually read the press release, you may gleam more from it than I did.
Plus, they used another cool metaphor. This time the immune system is… wait for it… The Post Office. It wraps and delivers packages. I LOVE IT! (If this seems weird, you can go back in the archives to understand my fascination with metaphors for the immune system, Here and Here.)
Researchers Elucidate Transport Pathway of Immune System Substances
To transport substances from the site of their production to their destination, the body needs a sophisticated transport and sorting system. Various receptors in and on the cells recognize certain molecules, pack them and ensure that they are transported to the right place. One of these receptors is Sortilin. It is present in the cells of the nervous system, the liver, and the immune system. Studies by Stefanie Herda and Dr. Armin Rehm (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin-Buch and Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin) and the immunologist Dr. Uta Höpken (MDC) have now shown that the receptor Sortilin plays an important role in the function of the immune system.
Read the rest of this entry