Barcelona BioMed Seminars

Membrane receptor nanoclustering as functional unit of immune cells: from nanoscopy to single molecule dynamics

19 May 2017

Speaker: Dr Maria F. Garcia-Parajo (ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences & ICREA) 


Organizers: IRB Barcelona

Date: Friday, May 19. 12:00h

Place: Serratosa Room, Parc Científic de Barcelona

Host: Dr. Manuel Palacín (IRB Barcelona)


Organization by compartmentalization is a general property of natural systems that efficiently facilitates and orchestrates biological events in space and time. In the last decade, compartmentalization of the plasma membrane of living cells has emerged as a dominant feature present at different spatiotemporal scales and regulating key cell functions. The advent of super-resolution microscopy and single molecule dynamic approaches has allowed the study of the cell membrane with unprecedented levels of details. From these studies it is becoming clear that receptor nanoclustering prior to ligand presentation constitutes a functional working unit of mammalian cells, including those of the immune system. In this talk, I will first describe the working principle of these advanced optical techniques and will then focus on recent studies of the membrane protein CD1d, a non-classical MHC protein, involved in the presentation of lipid antigens to invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT). Our results indicate that regulation of CD1d nanoclustering through the actin cytoskeleton constitutes a novel mechanism to fine-tune peripheral iNKT cell autoreactivity. Since NKT cells can rapidly respond to the presence of tumour cells and participate in anti-tumour immune responses, understanding how the immune reactivity of NKT cells is shaped can contribute to the rational use of these cells in cancer immunotherapies.

Plenary Seminar

Speaker: Dr Maria F. Garcia-Parajo (ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences & ICREA)