Katrin Rittinger group

Structural biology of signalling networks that regulate innate and adaptive immunity

The innate immune response constitutes the first line of defence against invading micro-organisms. Pathogen recognition is mediated by specific pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that activate diverse signalling pathways and initiate a pro-inflammatory response. These signalling events need to be tightly controlled as misregulation can lead to chronic inflammation and auto-immune disease. Innate immune responses can also trigger adaptive immunity and the two systems are linked through complex signalling networks.

Our research is focused on characterisation of the structural and mechanistic properties of protein complexes that regulate signalling in innate and adaptive immunity. We are currently studying members of the NLR (NOD-like receptor) family of intracellular pattern recognition receptors. NLRs respond to the presence of bacteria and danger signals by triggering cytokine production and the activation of MAP kinases and the transcription factor NF-κB. In addition, we are examining the mechanism of activation of the IKK complex, a key regulator of NF-κB. Furthermore, we are investigating the role and regulation of Vav1, an activator of small Rho-family GTPases, in T cell development and signalling.

Signalling through NLRs

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Signalling through NLRs

Binding of di-ubiquitin to NEMO

Binding of di-ubiquitin to NEMO

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Binding of di-ubiquitin to NEMO monitored by ITC and AUC

Selected publications

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