• Andrew Webb

Aurora columns help identify NK cell role in defeating cancer



As one of the immune system's first lines of defence, Natural Killer (NK) cells - are a crucial part of the autoimmune response that can prevent the growth and spread of cancer. Subduing this class of cells is one of the many ways that tumours take hold.

In work recently published in Science Signaling, Rautela et. al. used global proteomics approaches utilising Aurora columns from IonOpticks to discover a protein that prevents NK cells from doing their job fighting cancer. Importantly, this work revealed that inhibiting this protein turbocharges the immune system to fight off the cancer cells.


Therapeutic blockade of activin-A improves NK cell function and antitumor immunity. Science Signaling. 2019 Aug 27;12(596). doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aat7527. Rautela J, Dagley LF, de Oliveira CC, Schuster IS, Hediyeh-Zadeh S, Delconte RB, Cursons J, Hennessy R, Hutchinson DS, Harrison C, Kita B, Vivier E, Webb AI, Degli-Esposti MA, Davis MJ, Huntington ND, Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes F

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