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Control of immune cell activity via a redox switch in integrin


Our immune system protects us from invasion of pathogens and toxic materials. Immune cells such as monocytes and neutrophils circulate in the blood to monitor foreign materials and elicit immune responses such as inflammation and phagocytosis. This project will investigate how mechanical force and redox regulate the function of immune cells to protect us from infection.


Dr Joyce Chiu.

Research location

Camperdown - Centenary Institute

Program type



Cell surface receptors known integrins are key adhesive molecules that connect extracellular matrix to cytoskeleton, and mediate adhesion and infiltration of immune cells to the site of injury or infection to mount an immune response. We have recently discovered a disulphide switch in platelet integrin that control ligand affinity. This disulphide switch is conserved in integrins found on immune cells and the aim of this project is to elucidate how this disulphide switch controls integrin-mediated functions such phagocytosis and migration of immune cells. Understanding this mechanism of control by disulphide switch inform regulation of immune responses as well as the pathogenesis of immune diseases and cancer.

Additional information

• Techniques involved: proteomics, flow cytometry, molecular biology, microfluidics and microscopy

• Reference: Passam F, Chiu J, Ju L, Pijning A, Jahan Z, Mor-Cohen R, Yeheskel A, Kolšek K, Thärichen L, Aponte-Santamaría C, Gräter F, Hogg PJ. (2018) Mechano-redox control of integrin de-adhesion. Elife. 7, e34843

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2510

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