Role of AHNAK in calcium signaling in T lymphocytes
Many immunosuppressive drugs like Cyclosporine A or FK506 (tacrolimus) affect calcium signaling in T lymphocytes. Although there have been many efforts to reveal the mechanism of calcium signaling in T lymphocytes, the function of calcium channels on T cell membranes, which transport calcium into the cell, is poorly understood. Dr. Kobayashi’s lab recently found that a large molecule, called AHNAK, is interacting with calcium channels in T lymphocytes and is required for normal calcium signaling. Dr. Kobayashi’s team will reveal the mechanism of calcium regulation by AHNAK using a mouse model which is lacking the AHNAK gene. These studies should significantly contribute to the understanding of calcium signaling in T cells, which is critical to develop more effective therapies for autoimmune diseases.