Synthetic immunology: modulating the human immune system
•In synthetic immunology, biological devices are engineered to rationally modulate immune responses.•Molecules derived from the immune system are modified to capture cytokines or cells.•Autologous immune cells are designed to cure immunodeficiencies or eradicate tumors.
Humans have manipulated the immune system to dampen or boost the immune response for thousands of years. As our understanding of fundamental immunology and biotechnological methodology accumulates, we can capitalize on this combined knowledge to engineer biological devices with the aim of rationally manipulating the immune response. We address therapeutic approaches based on the principles of synthetic immunology that either ameliorate disorders of the immune system by interfering with the immune response, or improve diverse pathogenic conditions by exploiting immune cell effector functions. We specifically highlight synthetic proteins investigated in preclinical and clinical trials, summarize studies that have used engineered immune cells, and finish with a discussion of possible future therapeutic concepts.
Journal: - Volume 33, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 65–79