Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Poxvirus Potency Uncovered in New Atomic Map

05.02.2008
Scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Saint Louis University used X-ray crystallography to uncover new details about the infectious potency of poxviruses, furthering the understanding of how viral infections can subvert the body’s immune system.

Having high-resolution detail of this protein on hand will speed the discovery of new drugs to combat inflammation and immune diseases such as atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers said.

The findings are published in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will soon appear in a print edition.

“Now we have a visual blueprint to guide our future studies on interferon-gamma binding protein, which one day may be used to prevent inflammatory disease,” said Mark R. Walter, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology and senior author on the study.

Interferon-gamma binding protein (IFN-y) is notorious for the role it plays in helping poxviruses replicate. Normally when a virus enters the bloodstream, the immune system fights back by producing IFN-y, which tells surrounding cells to fight the infection.

Remarkably, somewhere during the evolution of the poxvirus, it captured an IFN-y gene from its host and incorporated some of the protein structure into its own. As a result poxvirus has a very efficient “blocker” of the IFN-y antiviral response, Walter said.

The new study shows this blocking ability through crystallography, the science of mapping the atomic structure of molecules by looking at their interaction with an X-ray beam.

Poxviruses include many classes of the invasive organism, including smallpox, cowpox and monkeypox. Smallpox in particular has played a tragic role in human history: estimates show it caused between 300 million and 500 million deaths in the 20th Century.

Smallpox was declared officially eradicated in 1979, but other poxviruses remain a health threat.

“The damage that the smallpox virus has done to mankind is horrific and enormous, which is why we think it’s so important to understand more about the poxviruses and how they operate,” said Mark Buller, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and a study author. “The more knowledge we have, the better we should be able to cope with other major viruses and diseases in the future.”

The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.

Troy Goodman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uab.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Flying: Efficiency thanks to Lightweight Air Nozzles

23.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Salmonella as a tumour medication

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

50th Anniversary at JULABO GmbH

23.10.2017 | Press release

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>