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Min Fang, PhD
Uncovering the Mechanisms of Natural Killer Cell–Mediated Resistance to a Viral Disease
Staff Scientist, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
A shuttle to Roanoke will depart from Blacksburg in front of Burruss Hall at 3 p.m., returning at 6 p.m.
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate effector cells serving as a first line of defense against certain viral infections. To date, only a few NK cell receptor–ligand interactions important for resistance to viral diseases have been identified. Ectromelia virus is an orthopoxvirus that causes mousepox, the murine equivalent of human smallpox. C57BL/6 (B6) mice are naturally resistant to mousepox due to the concerted action of innate and adaptive immune responses. The mechanisms of NK cell–mediated resistance have not been defined. Dr. Fang will present her findings showing that B6 mice resistance to mousepox requires the direct cytolytic function of NK cells to control early virus dissemination, and that the activating receptor NKG2D is required for optimal NK cell–mediated killing. These findings, along with the recent discovery of the loss of resistance to mousepox during aging in otherwise resistant mice, have implications for the understanding of natural resistance to pathogenic viral infections.
- Fang M, Orr MT, Spee P, Egebjerg T, Lanier LL, Sigal LJ. CD94 is essential for NK cell-mediated resistance to a lethal viral disease. Immunity, 2011, 34: 579–89.
- Xu RH, Fang M, Klein-Szanto A, Sigal LJ. Memory CD8+ T cells are gatekeepers of the lymph node draining the site of viral infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2007, 104: 10992–97.
About the Speaker:
Min Fang's research focuses on viral immunology, pathogenesis, and the mechanisms of vaccine protection during infection with ectromelia, an orthopoxvirus that causes mousepox.