Étudiant-chercheur étoile December 2015



Stephen Methot

PhD student at the Mechanisms of Genetic Diversity Research Unit
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal


Award winning publication: Consecutive interactions with HSP90 and eEF1A underlie a functional maturation and storage pathway of AID in the cytoplasm

Published in: The Journal of Experimental Medicine
 

Abstract

The role of AID (activation-induced cytidine deaminase) in both the humoral immune response and the development of lymphomas turns it into an important pharmacological target. Unfortunately, its dynamic structure has made it so far impossible to crystallize and to develop any specific inhibitors. The structural model of the active form of AID developed by Stephen Methot could be used as a framework for designing inhibitors that would disrupt this folding and inhibit AID activity. Moreover, his research team managed to identify inhibitors that indirectly affect the activity of AID. As these inhibitors enhance AID activity, they could be used to boost the immune response during the generation of highly mutated therapeutic antibodies, or for the elderly, whose immune system and vaccine response are weak, in part due to reduced AID expression.