Biology Faculty Articles

Title

Signal transduction in DC differentiation: winged messengers and Achilles' heel

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Title

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

ISSN

0065-2598

Volume

590

First Page

1

Last Page

29

Abstract

Dendritic cells (DC) are centrally involved in the initiation and regulation of the adaptive immune response, and different DC can have markedly different (e.g., opposing) function. Acquisition of specific functions is likely to be a result of both nature and nurture, namely differentiation of progenitors into distinct DC subsets as well as the influence of environmental signals. This is not unlike what is seen for T and B cells. This review will focus on the signal transduction pathways that allow an unusually wide range of hematopoietic progenitors to differentiate into DC, the functional characteristics regulated by these pathways, and the ability of pathogens to alter DC function by subverting these pathways during progenitor→DC differentiation.