Functions of the polyamine synthesis pathway in T cell biology
Dr Daniel Puleston
University of Oxford
T cells are important cells of the immune system and they are crucial when the body fights infection. In recent years we have begun to appreciate the importance of metabolism in the way T cells operate. T cells rely heavily on cell proliferation when fighting infection. They need to build up large numbers of cells to clear pathogens and they do this by rapidly dividing. Polyamines are small metabolites that might be important for cell division and the immune response because they support T-cell replication.
The aim of my work is to investigate the polyamine synthesis pathway in T cells. I will investigate this using mice that have been engineered so that their T cells can no longer make polyamines and compare them with mice with normal T cells.
This project will shed light on how cells can use metabolism for replication and function, which is important for our understanding of areas such as immunity and cancer. If we can control the polyamine pathway in T cells, we might be able to manipulate these cells to our advantage when treating infection and disease.