Suppresion of adaptive immunity by the Salmonella effector SteD
Efficient immune response towards intracellular bacterial pathogens (eg. Salmonella) depends on proper mode of activation of CD4 T lymphocytes. This is mediated by antigen presenting cells such as dendritic cells (DCs). DCs trigger CD4 T lymphocyte-dependent specific immune response by presenting foreign antigens on major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII). Salmonella evolved a mechanism to specifically block antigen presentation by MHCII thus inhibiting onset of appropriate immune response.
The aim of this project is to reach a deep characterization of the functions of the Salmonella effector SteD on host MHCII-dependent specific immunity in an attempt to prepare a new tool for wider use in clinical practice. To reach this main goal, the work is divided into the following objectives: i) characterization of the effects of SteD on T cell activation in context of host organism; ii) obtaining a detailed understanding of SteD activity on molecular level; iii) identification of proteins targeted by SteD to modulate functions of T lymphocytes; iv) development of SteD as a tool usable for controlled modulation of adaptive immunity.