Title

Synthesis and characterization of immunologically active glycolipids isolated from S. pneumoniae

Type of Proposal

Oral Presentation

Start Date

22-3-2018 10:55 AM

End Date

22-3-2018 12:15 PM

Location

Alumni Auditorium A

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Peter Bahnam, Emmanuel Igbokwe, Greg Yousif, Iraj Sadraei, John F. Trant Carbohydrates play many important roles in biological systems including as structural supports, cell signalling mediators, and energy storage systems. They also act as superantigens for the immune system when they are conjugated to certain fat molecules as glycolipids. A specific subset of glycolipids can activate invariant Natural Killer T-cells (iNKT cells) – white blood cells that mediate a dangerous non-specific systemic immune response that can potentially lead to death. However, if this same immune response is controlled it has promise to act as a last line antiviral and/or a potential anticancer agent by potentially turning the immune system against previously ignored virus-infected or tumour cells. These iNKT cells are found in all mammals. This is very unusual as immune systems normally differ completely between two individuals, let alone different species. Until recently, the only known activators had been isolated from sea sponges found off the coast of Japan. However, a few years ago, two molecules were isolated from dangerous bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, that are able to activate this system. The Trant Team is carrying out the first synthesis of these two compounds; both have biological activity and bypass the non-polar lipid bilayer in the cells of the tissue they target. The isolated compounds may or may not have been contaminated, and their structure may be not be correct: we are making these materials so we can confirm both the actual structure of these materials, and that the observed biological activity is due to these compounds. Our more efficient synthesis, the nanoparticle self-assembly behaviour of these materials, and possibly the preliminary immunological results obtained by our collaborators (Haeryfar group immunology, Western) will be presented.

Notes

It deals with synthesis chemistry of glycolipids and has biological implications which relates to my undergraduate degree of Biological sciences. I am excited to participate!

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Mar 22nd, 10:55 AM Mar 22nd, 12:15 PM

Synthesis and characterization of immunologically active glycolipids isolated from S. pneumoniae

Alumni Auditorium A

Peter Bahnam, Emmanuel Igbokwe, Greg Yousif, Iraj Sadraei, John F. Trant Carbohydrates play many important roles in biological systems including as structural supports, cell signalling mediators, and energy storage systems. They also act as superantigens for the immune system when they are conjugated to certain fat molecules as glycolipids. A specific subset of glycolipids can activate invariant Natural Killer T-cells (iNKT cells) – white blood cells that mediate a dangerous non-specific systemic immune response that can potentially lead to death. However, if this same immune response is controlled it has promise to act as a last line antiviral and/or a potential anticancer agent by potentially turning the immune system against previously ignored virus-infected or tumour cells. These iNKT cells are found in all mammals. This is very unusual as immune systems normally differ completely between two individuals, let alone different species. Until recently, the only known activators had been isolated from sea sponges found off the coast of Japan. However, a few years ago, two molecules were isolated from dangerous bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, that are able to activate this system. The Trant Team is carrying out the first synthesis of these two compounds; both have biological activity and bypass the non-polar lipid bilayer in the cells of the tissue they target. The isolated compounds may or may not have been contaminated, and their structure may be not be correct: we are making these materials so we can confirm both the actual structure of these materials, and that the observed biological activity is due to these compounds. Our more efficient synthesis, the nanoparticle self-assembly behaviour of these materials, and possibly the preliminary immunological results obtained by our collaborators (Haeryfar group immunology, Western) will be presented.