MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Selected Topics in Immunobiology


Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, third-level study programme


doc. dr. Nataša Kopitar Jerala


Students will gain a thorough knowledge of selected contemporary topics in molecular and cellular immunology. Objective of the course is that students understand the mechanistic basis of selected processes that are central to the immune response and the experimental approaches used to elucidate these mechanisms. Students will be encouraged to design the experiments and to creatively work on the solutions of experimental problems.


• Cells of immune system
• Innate immunity
• Antigen Recognition
• Adaptive immunity
• Antigen processing
• Pathways of antigen presentation
• T cell mediated immunity
• Immune response to infection

Critical analysis of original research articles in an intensive small group discussion format. Papers will be analysed in terms of background, hypothesis, appropriate use of experimental methods and objective interpretation of results.

Course literature:

Textbook: Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease Sixth Edition by Janeway, Travers, Walport and Shlomchik, 2004.

Ključni članki /Key articles to study:

Medzhitov R.Recognition of microorganisms and activation of the immune response. Nature. 2007, 449 (7164):819-26. Review.

Kanneganti TD, Lamkanfi M, Núnez G.Intracellular NOD-like receptors in host defense and disease. Immunity. 2007, 27(4):549-59. Review

Schmid D, Münz C : Innate and adaptive immunity through autophagy. Immunity. 2007, 27(1):11-21. Review

Because of the fast pace of development in this field, the fundamental learning resources are the most recently published articles, particularly those in the journals Science, Nature, Nature Immunology, Immunity, Nature Reviews in Immunology; (copies of the articles will be available to students).

Significant publications and references:

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, TURK, Vito. A procathepsin D specific monoclonal antibody that recognizes procathepsin D but not cathepsin D. Immunol. lett.. [Print ed.], 1999, vol. 70, str. 211-212.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, GUBENŠEK, Franc, TURK, Vito. Recombinant anti-stefin A F-ab fragment : sequence analysis of the variable region and expression in Escherichia coli. Biol Chem, 2000, vol. 381, str. 1245-01249.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, BEVEC, Tadeja, BARLIČ-MAGANJA, Darja, GUBENŠEK, Franc, TURK, Vito. Anti-cathepsin L monoclonal antibodies that distinguish cathepsin L from cathepsin V. Biol Chem, 2001, vol. 382, str. 867-870.

FAN, Xiaohui, KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, PREMZL, Aleš, BESTAGNO, Marco, BURRONE, Oscar, KOS, Janko. Molecular cloning and chimerisation of an inhibitory anti-cathepsin B antibody and its expression in chinese hamster ovary cells. Biol Chem, 2002, vol. 383, str. 1817-1820.

ROZMAN PUNGERČAR, Jerica, KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, BOGYO, M., TURK, Dušan, VASILJEVA, Olga, KLEMENČIČ, Ivica, VANDENABEELE, P., BRÖMME, D., PUIZDAR, Vida, FONOVIĆ, Marko, TRSTENJAK-PREBANDA, Mojca, DOLENC, Iztok, TURK, Vito, TURK, Boris. Inhibition of papain-like cysteine proteases and legumain by caspase-specific inhibitors : when reaction mechanism is more important than specificity. Cell Death Differ, 2003, vol. 10, str. 881-888.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, SCHWEIGER, Ana, MYERS, Richard M., TURK, Vito, TURK, Boris. Sensitization of stefin B-deficiet thymocytes towards staurosporin-induced apoptosis is independent of cysteine cathepins. FEBS lett. 2005, vol. 579, str. 2149-2155.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša. The role of cystatins in cells of the immune system. FEBS lett.. [Print ed.], 2006, vol. 580, str. 6295-6301.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, TURK, Boris. Cleavage of the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) by cysteine cathepsins in cells and tissues of stefin B-deficient mice. Biol Chem, 2007, vol. 388, str. 847-852.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša. Cystatins in cells of the immune systems : a current view. V: ŽEROVNIK, Eva (edi.), KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša (ed.). Human stefins and cystatins. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., ISBN 1-60021-233-6.(2006), str. 127-140.

KOPITAR-JERALA, Nataša, ŽEROVNIK, Eva, TURK, Boris. Lysosomal cysteine proteinases and their inhibitors in neurodegenerative diseases. V: KETTLEWORTH, Carter R. (ed.). Cell apoptosis research advances. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science, cop. ISBN 978-160021-509-4. (2006), str. 223-243.


• seminar and oral exam

Students obligations:

• seminar and oral exam