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 When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>