New compound activates cancer-fighting T cells

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In Connecticut, an international team of immunologists, molecular biologists, and chemists led by University of Connecticut chemistry professor Amy Howell reports the creation of a new compound, called AH10-7, that appears to spark our potent invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells into action to fight infection and combat diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.

The robust study also applied advanced structural and 3-D computer modeling analysis to identify the underlying basis for the new compound’s success. These highly detailed insights into what is happening at the molecular level open up new paths for research and could lead to the development of even more effective compounds.

“One of the goals in this field has been to identify compounds that elicit a more biased or selective response from iNKT cells, and we were able to incorporate features in AH10-7 that did that,” said Howell in their news release.