Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Regulating Immune Helpers
25 August 2017

Regulating Immune Helpers

T cells play a diverse and extremely important role in our immune system. They are a type of white blood cell that originate from the thymus in the neck, where they develop into different T-cell types (such as helper, natural killer, regulatory and memory T cells) and then become active within our immune system. Regulatory T cells and T helper cells work to coordinate inflammation and manage autoimmunity, ensuring that T cells don’t attack the body’s own healthy cells. Pictured in purple inside the nucleus of two immature T cells is the transcription factor TAZ – a molecule involved in the regulation of gene expression – binding to two other molecules called T-helper cell regulator (green) and T-regulatory cell defining factor (red). By doing so, TAZ regulates the differentiation of helper and regulatory cells establishing the right balance between the production of both cell types, which is crucial for our immune system.

Written by Katie Panteli

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