The recognition of autoantigens by immune cells, such as B or T cells, is an event that can trigger toxic activity against one self’s tissues, a mechanism frequently linked to autoimmune diseases. In type 1 diabetes, the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells by autoreactive T lymphocytes leads to the deficiency of this hormone. In this project, the team of the Unit of Protein Crystallography and Structural Immunology of Navarrabiomed sets out to reveal the mechanisms that make these recognitions take place at the molecular level between well-defined cell membrane proteins. And it is precisely the intermolecular interactions between these proteins that the researchers will analyze with cutting-edge structural biology approaches.
This project is funded by EFSD / Lilly European Diabetes Research Programme.