The complex tumor environment consists of both tumor cells and diverse populations of immune cells, which communicate, in part, through proteins called chemokine and chemokine receptors. C-C chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is one of the major chemokine receptors that is present on the surface of both immune cells and tumor cells. During disease progression in certain types of cancers, the presence of CCR5 in the tumor environment impedes the immune system’s ability to suppress tumor growth and is linked to advanced disease and poor prognosis.
Therefore, to determine whether CCR5 might make an attractive target for immunotherapy, Dr. Siyi Gu is characterizing how CCR5 changes its shape to receive different signals and how this change can help recruit signaling partners inside the cell. She also plans to explore and identify new CCR5 binding partners that transmit its signals when it engages different chemokines. This information will help to dissect the role of CCR5 in the tumor environment and aid the design of better drugs—targeting both CCR5 and its partners—to prevent its pro-tumor effects in cancer.
Projects and Grants
Molecular mechanisms of C-C chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) ligand-based signaling
University of California, San Diego | All Cancers | 2020 | Tracy M. Handel, Ph.D.
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