9th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
September 24-26, 2018
Invited Talk
Search and kill - the immune response to cancer cells
Heiko Rieger
Saarland University, Center for Biophysics & Theoretical Physics, Campus, E2 6, 66123 Saarbrücken
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Cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells are the main cytotoxic killer cells of the human body to eliminate pathogen-infected or tumorigenic cells. Various processes are involved in a successful killing event: activation of the killer cell, migration and search for the target, formation of a synapse and polarization upon contact with the target, transport of cytotoxic agents towards the synapse, and finally elimination of the target via necrosis or apoptosis. In this talk I will review various biophysical aspects of killing that were studied theoretically in collaboration with experimental research groups. Topics include the analysis of search strategies of migrating killer cells; the mechanistic understanding of the molecular motor driven cytoskeleton rotation towards the synapse during polarization; the modulation of the intracellular calcium homoeostasis by mitochondria relocation towards the synapse; the efficiency of the spatial organization of the cytoskeleton for search problems occurring in intra-cellular cargo transport; and the analysis of different killing strategies inducing necrosis or apoptosis.
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