By Stephen Parmley, Senior Writer
New pathways in immunity are few and far between, but a group at Imperial College London has found one that boosts the immune response tenfold and is controlled by the newly discovered protein LEM. The researchers think the target could become a key player in cancer immunotherapy, and that activating LEM offers big advantages over anti-PD-1 and CAR T cell approaches.
The inventors' first move was to spin out ImmunarT Ltd., a newco that will look for therapies that stimulate or suppress LEM for cancer, chronic viral infections or other diseases.
Okoye, I., et al. "The protein LEM promotes CD8+ T cell immunity through effects on mitochondrial respiration." Science (2015)