Our research team, together with the team of Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and BIOCEV research centre in the Czech Republic, have recently been featured in the scientific highlights of the Instruct-ERIC website. The teams were recognized for their innovative work on the crystal structure of natural killer cell receptor-ligand complexes.
Natural killer (NK) cells are a critical component of the immune system, equipped with surface receptors that recognize and kill infected or malignant cells. The NK cell receptor NKR-P1 is a C-type lectin-like receptor that specifically binds to LLT1, its endogenous ligand. The receptor is of particular interest as LLT1 is upregulated on many cancer cells.
In this collaboration, the research teams were able to determine the crystal structure of the NKR-P1 and LLT1 complex, which is an essential step towards understanding how the receptor-ligand interaction works. The research project was conducted as part of the Instruct-ERIC R&D Pilot Call, which provides funding for pilot studies to deliver preliminary results. Ondřej Vaněk, the corresponding author, noted that “Instruct was really instrumental to the project’s success, both the provided access to various platforms and the R&D Pilot Project funding helping us to achieve the aim of publishing more than just a structure itself, but also its biological implications for immune recognition.”
The results of this work highlights the importance of collaborations and access to state-of-the-art facilities, such as those provided by Instruct-ERIC, in advancing our understanding of the immune system and its role in fighting diseases.