Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Herpes: Scientists find cellular process that fights virus

25.03.2009
Canada-US breakthrough, published in Nature Immunology, explains how mechanism seeks out and fights type 1 herpes simplex

Scientists have discovered a new way for our immune system to combat the elusive virus responsible for cold sores: Type 1 herpes simplex (HSV-1).

As reported in the advance online edition of Nature Immunology, a group of virus hunters from the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with American colleagues, have identified a cellular process that seeks out and fights herpes.

The five-year study, partially supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was a joint project with Washington University and Pennsylvania State University.

"Once human cells are infected with Type 1 herpes simplex, the virus comes back because it hides and blocks protection from our immune system," says Luc English, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at the Université de Montréal's Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. "For the first time, our research team has indentified a combative cellular mechanism in this game of hide-and-seek."

"We've found that the nuclear membrane of an infected cell can unmask Type 1 herpes simplex and stimulate the immune system to disintegrate the virus," says English.

The team made its discovery while conducting various tests in HSV-1 infected mice cells. They replicated environments when Type 1 herpes simplex thrives, namely periods of low-grade fever between 38.5 to 39 degrees, and found that herpes-fighting mechanisms were unleashed.

The research team now plans to study how activation of the herpes-combating cellular process could be applied to other illnesses. The outcome could hasten the development of therapies to prevent other immune-evading bacteria, parasites and viruses. "Our goal is to further study the molecules implicated in this mechanism to eventually develop therapies against diseases such as HIV or even cancer," says English.

According to Dr. Michel Desjardins, senior author and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the Université de Montréal, treatment options might be imaginable in a decade.

"Now that we've identified the novel mechanism in cells that activate immune response to Type 1 herpes simplex, scientists are one step closer to creating new treatments that can activate the defence against this and other viruses," says Dr. Desjardins. "While it may not be possible to completely eradicate Type 1 herpes simplex in people who are already infected, at the very least, future therapies may be able to keep the virus in its dormant state."

Partners in research:

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the foundation Research to Prevent Blindness.

About Herpes:

There are two types of herpes viruses: Type 1 herpes simplex causes facial cold sores and Type 2 causes genital herpes. Both types of herpes affect an estimated 80 million people in America alone and there is currently no cure for the condition.

About the study:

The paper, "Autophagy enhances the presentation of endogenous viral antigens on MHC class I molecules during HSV-1 infection," published in Nature Immunology, was produced by Luc English, Magali Chemali, Johanne Duron, Christiane Rondeau, Annie Laplante, Diane Gingras, Roger Lippe and Michel Desjardins of the Université de Montréal in collaboration with Diane Alexander and David Leib of Washington University and Christopher Norbury of Pennsylvania State University.

On the Web:

About Nature Immunology: www.nature.com/ni/index.html
About the Université de Montréal: www.umontreal.ca/english/index.htm
About the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology: www.patho.umontreal.ca

Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>