Targeting PKC-theta protein: a way to inhibit harmful immune responses?

November 09, 2009

For some individuals with leukemia, the best treatment option is to receive a bone marrow transplant from a person who is not an identical genetic match. The donor bone marrow gives rise to immune cells that attack the leukemia (a response known as a graft-versus leukemia [GVL] response). In some cases, however, the immune cells generated by the donor bone marrow attack other cells in the patient's body and this highly toxic response is known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Much research is being conducted to identify drugs that can prevent GVHD but preserve GVL responses and responses against infectious agents. A team of researchers, led by Amer Beg and Xue-Zhong Yu, at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, has now identified the protein PKC-theta as a potential drug target in this context by determining that it is required in mice for GVHD induction but not for GVL or protective responses to infectious agents.
TITLE: PKC-theta is required for alloreactivity and GVHD but not for immune responses toward leukemia and infection in mice


Amer A. Beg
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, USA.
Phone: (813) 745-5714; Fax: (813) 979-7265; E-mail:

Xue-Zhong Yu
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, USA.
Phone: (813) 745-3562; Fax: (813) 979-7265; E-mail:

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