Numerous studies in immunology and infection biology have shown that the host cell's reaction triggered by pathogen infection is highly complex and diverse. In higher organisms the innate immune system constitutes an effective front line barrier against pathogen infection, which in the course of evolution, has been complemented by adaptive immunity. Very sophisticated means of communication between cells have developed, which are based on inter- and intracellular signaling molecules. These signaling pathways still exist in cells cultivated in bioreactors and signal transduction presumably has a high relevance for vaccine production processes with a pathogen infection of host cells. Upon infection, host cells may secrete signaling molecules forcing still uninfected cells into apoptosis, hence diminishing virus yields. Furthermore, improving understanding of differences in virus subtypes on intracellular virus infection dynamics and virus-induced cell death might be relevant for process optimization.
This project is aimed at the characterization of intra- and intercellular signaling pathways involved in these processes in order to gain a better understanding of fundamentals of virus-host cell interaction in bioprocesses and to further increase process yields.
Funding for this project was granted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the FORSYS initiative.
Work on this project is done in close collaboration with the research group of Professor Naumann at the Institute for Experimental Interior Medicine of the Medical Faculty (http://www.med.uni-magdeburg.de/fme/zim/ieim/) of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg.