Wolfgang Schamel, PhD: "Cholesterol binding to TCR keeps the TCR in the inactive conformation"
Thursday, August 4, 2016, 04:00 pm, Vienna Competence Center, Lazarettgasse 19, 1090 Vienna, Seminar Room, 1. floor
COLLOQUIUM IN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY, INFECTIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY
Wolfgang Schamel is the head of the Department of Immunology at the Institute for Biology III and the BIOSS Excellence Cluster of the University of Freiburg, Germany. Further, he is professor at the Centre of Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI) of Freiburg University Clinics.
He studied biochemistry at the Free University of Berlin and conducted his diploma thesis at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, working in Yosef Yarden’s group. Then he moved to Freiburg to the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology to do his PhD thesis under the supervision of Michael Reth. He discovered that the B cell antigen receptor exists as pre-clustered nanostructures on the surface of B cells. For this work he received the Hans Spemann prize. During his two years of postdoctoral research with Balbino Alarcon at the Centro de Biologia Molecular in Madrid he showed that also the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) can be preclustered, and he contributed significantly to the discovery that the TCR exists in two different CD3 conformational states. In 2002 he was rewarded with the Emmy-Noether fellowship of the German government and founded his independent research group at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology. He continued to work on the TCR and on T cell activation. For his contributions to understanding TCR nanocluster formation he received the Acris-Prize of the Signaltransduction Society. Since 2010 he has been full professor for Immunology at the University Freiburg.
Important recent findings include the identification of Kidins220 as a new protein in BCR and TCR signaling and the finding that TCRs can spontaneously switch between the two CD3 conformations. The active conformation (primed TCR) is stabilized by antigen-binding, thus leading to T cell activation. The inactive conformation is stabilized by cholesterol, thus preventing T cell activation without antigen. He is author of 110 scientific publications.
Host: Hannes Stockinger
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