Regulation of cytokine signalling

Regulation of cytokine signalling

Project details

Cytokines and growth factors are important molecules that control blood development and the immune response. Overactive signalling by cytokines can lead to a number of different leukaemias and inflammatory diseases. Therefore under normal conditions it is tightly regulated by a number of different inhibitory proteins including kinase inhibitory proteins, phosphatases and ubiquitin ligases. 

This project aims to characterise the ability of a phosphatase (PTP1b) to regulate cytokine signalling and hence prevent disease. The student will learn skills in structural biology, cell biology and biochemistry. (Babon et al., J. Mol. Biol. 2014 462: 1-13).

About our research group

Cytokines and growth factors are secreted proteins that act as intercellular messengers to control haematopoiesis and the immune response. Cytokines signal to their target cells via the ‘JAK/STAT pathway’. 

We study this pathway using structural biology and biochemical techniques. Our group currently includes a PhD student and a research assistant. We have previously characterised the interaction between SOCS3 (a potent regulator of JAK/STAT signaling) and JAK2 in molecular detail and found that SOCS3 inhibits JAK via a novel molecular mechanism (Babon et al., Immunity 2012 36:239; Kershaw et al., Nature Structure and Molecular Biology 2013 20:469). 

We are now interested in characterising the molecular mode-of-action of other cytokine signaling inhibitors such as phosphatases and ubiquitin ligases. 



Dr Jeff Babon

Dr Jeff Babon in the lab
Laboratory head

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