Professor Angel Lopez, Head, Cytokine Receptor Laboratory, Centre for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, SA.
The βc cytokines stimulate the production and function of myeloid cells and dendritic cells thus bridging innate and adaptive immunity. Encompassing granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL)-3 and IL-5, the βc cytokines frequently play a significant role in several pathologies such as haematological malignancies and chronic inflammatory conditions. The molecular mechanisms that underpin the actions of βc in health and disease are initiated at the cell surface following the binding of GM-CSF, IL-3 or IL-5 to their heterodimeric receptors. This triggers the assembly of each receptor into high order complexes with the capacity to activate a signalling cascade that includes both positive and negative regulatory elements culminating in distinct cellular functions. The molecular mechanisms underlying receptor assembly and signalling will be discussed.