Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cells help viruses during cell entry

10.07.2015

Adenoviruses cause numerous diseases, such as eye or respiratory infections, and they are widely used in gene therapy. Researchers from the University of Zurich have now discovered how these viruses penetrate the cells, a key step for infection and gene delivery The cell unwillingly supports virus entry and infection by providing lipids that are normally used to repair damaged membranes.

An intact cell membrane is essential for any cell to function. The external cell membrane can be damaged by mechanical stress, for example in muscle cells, or by pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. Membrane damage can result in small pores, which lead to loss of valuable substances from the cell.

The cell can quickly repair such injuries to its membrane. Human adenoviruses also cause small pores in the cell membrane, as a team of cell biologists headed by Urs Greber, a professor at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Zurich, has now discovered.

These pores are too small for the virus to get directly into the cell but are large enough for the cell to recognize them as a danger signal and repair them in a matter of seconds. The adenovirus uses this very repair mechanism to trigger an infection.

Certain lipids help the virus to enter the cell

During this repair process, lipids – in particular ceramide lipids – are formed, which enable the virus to enter the cell more rapidly. The ceramide lipids cause the membrane to bend and endosomes to form.

Endosomes are small bubbles of lipids and proteins and they engulf extracellular material, such as nutrients, but also viruses. With the aid of the ceramide lipids, the virus increases the size of the membrane lesions, and can leave the endosome before the endosome becomes a lysosome and degrades the virus.

The virus then multiplies in the nucleus and subsequently infects other cells. “We have identified particular cellular lipids as key components for the virus to enter into cells, which is surprising as lipids have important roles in biology, but these roles are difficult to identify,” explains Stefania Luisoni, the first author on the study and a doctoral student at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences.

The scientists identified a connection between the formation of a membrane pore by the virus and a cellular repair mechanism. These events form a positive feedback loop, which is part of the explanation for the high infection efficiency of the adenoviruses, which scientists have known for some time.

The work also identified a new inhibitor against the adenoviruses, which inhibits the cellular protein “lysosomal acid sphingomyelinase“, and blocks the formation of ceramide lipids in the plasma membrane. “Our results are potentially interesting for the development of new anti-viral agents, and they increase our understanding in how the adenovirus works in vaccination and gene therapy” concludes Greber.

Literature:

Stefania Luisoni, Maarit Suomalainen, Karin Boucke, Lukas B. Tanner, Markus R. Wenk, Xue Li Guan, Michal Grzybek, Ünal Coskun, Urs F. Greber. Co-option of Membrane Wounding Enables Virus
Penetration into Cells. Cell Host & Microbe, July 8, 2015. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1931312815002541

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch

Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich

Further reports about: Life Molecular Sciences cell membrane endosome pores roles small viruses

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Discovery of a Key Regulatory Gene in Cardiac Valve Formation
24.05.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Carcinogenic soot particles from GDI engines
24.05.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>