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1.  DC-ATLAS: a systems biology resource to dissect receptor specific signal transduction in dendritic cells 
Immunome Research  2010;6:10.
Background
The advent of Systems Biology has been accompanied by the blooming of pathway databases. Currently pathways are defined generically with respect to the organ or cell type where a reaction takes place. The cell type specificity of the reactions is the foundation of immunological research, and capturing this specificity is of paramount importance when using pathway-based analyses to decipher complex immunological datasets. Here, we present DC-ATLAS, a novel and versatile resource for the interpretation of high-throughput data generated perturbing the signaling network of dendritic cells (DCs).
Results
Pathways are annotated using a novel data model, the Biological Connection Markup Language (BCML), a SBGN-compliant data format developed to store the large amount of information collected. The application of DC-ATLAS to pathway-based analysis of the transcriptional program of DCs stimulated with agonists of the toll-like receptor family allows an integrated description of the flow of information from the cellular sensors to the functional outcome, capturing the temporal series of activation events by grouping sets of reactions that occur at different time points in well-defined functional modules.
Conclusions
The initiative significantly improves our understanding of DC biology and regulatory networks. Developing a systems biology approach for immune system holds the promise of translating knowledge on the immune system into more successful immunotherapy strategies.
doi:10.1186/1745-7580-6-10
PMCID: PMC3000836  PMID: 21092113
2.  Src Kinases Are Required for a Balanced Production of IL-12/IL-23 in Human Dendritic Cells Activated by Toll-Like Receptor Agonists 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11491.
Background
Pathogen recognition by dendritic cells (DC) is crucial for the initiation of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Activation of Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) by microbial molecular patterns leads to the maturation of DC, which present the antigen and activate T cells in secondary lymphoid tissues. Cytokine production by DC is critical for shaping the adaptive immune response by regulating T helper cell differentiation. It was previously shown by our group that Src kinases play a key role in cytokines production during TLR4 activation in human DC.
Principal Findings
In this work we investigated the role of Src kinases during different TLRs triggering in human monocyte-derived DC (MoDC). We found that Src family kinases are important for a balanced production of inflammatory cytokines by human MoDC upon stimulation of TLR3 and 8 with their respective agonists. Disruption of this equilibrium through pharmacological inhibition of Src kinases alters the DC maturation pattern. In particular, while expression of IL-12 and other inflammatory cytokines depend on Src kinases, the induction of IL-23 and co-stimulatory molecules do not. Accordingly, DC treated with Src inhibitors are not compromised in their ability to induce CD4 T cell proliferation and to promote the Th17 subset survival but are less efficient in inducing Th1 differentiation.
Conclusions
We suggest that the pharmacological modulation of DC maturation has the potential to shape the quality of the adaptive immune response and could be exploited for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011491
PMCID: PMC2901334  PMID: 20634889
3.  Inhibition of Natural Killer Cells through Engagement of CD81 by the Major Hepatitis C Virus Envelope Protein 
The immune response against hepatitis C virus (HCV) is rarely effective at clearing the virus, resulting in ∼170 million chronic HCV infections worldwide. Here we report that ligation of an HCV receptor (CD81) inhibits natural killer (NK) cells. Cross-linking of CD81 by the major envelope protein of HCV (HCV-E2) or anti-CD81 antibodies blocks NK cell activation, cytokine production, cytotoxic granule release, and proliferation. This inhibitory effect was observed using both activated and resting NK cells. Conversely, on NK-like T cell clones, including those expressing NK cell inhibitory receptors, CD81 ligation delivered a costimulatory signal. Engagement of CD81 on NK cells blocks tyrosine phosphorylation through a mechanism which is distinct from the negative signaling pathways associated with NK cell inhibitory receptors for major histocompatibility complex class I. These results implicate HCV-E2–mediated inhibition of NK cells as an efficient HCV evasion strategy targeting the early antiviral activities of NK cells and allowing the virus to establish itself as a chronic infection.
doi:10.1084/jem.20011124
PMCID: PMC2196014  PMID: 11781363
natural killer cells; inhibitory signaling; immune evasion; chronic viral infection; tetraspanin

Results 1-3 (3)