Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Retroviral protein triggers proliferation of immune cells

23.10.2003


Scientists here have found that a protein in the retrovirus known as human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause immune cells to divide and proliferate, helping the virus spread through the body.


Michael Lairmore



The protein, known as p12, was formerly thought to be unimportant during infection, causing scientists to regard it as a nonessential “accessory gene.”

This new study, however, shows that the protein forces infected cells to produce interleukin 2 (IL-2), a substance that stimulates the growth and proliferation of immune cells known as T lymphocytes, or T cells, which are the virus’s chief target. The study was published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Virology.


“Our findings help explain why lymphocytes divide and proliferate in people following HTLV-1 infection,” says lead investigator Michael D. Lairmore, professor and chair of veterinary biosciences, professor of molecular virology and associate director for basic sciences at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The findings also support the view that this virus replicates mainly by causing infected cells to divide and proliferate rather than by generating more virus particles.”

The study provides insight into the biology of HTLV-1 and the changes lymphocytes undergo as they become cancerous. The findings also may lead to safer, more effective drugs to treat the leukemias, lymphoma, and autoimmune-like diseases caused by the virus.

HTLV-1 infects 15 to 25 million people worldwide, particularly in Japan and in the Caribbean region. It specifically attacks immune cells known as CD4 lymphocytes, where it inserts its genome, or genetic material, permanently into a chromosome. In some people the virus causes adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, a cancer that responds poorly to treatment and that can cause death within six months of diagnosis. In others, it causes crippling and painful autoimmune-like disorders.

Lairmore and a team of colleagues tested the function of p12 in both laboratory-grown lymphocytes known as Jurkat T cells, and in normal human T lymphocytes, known as peripheral blood mononuclear lymphocytes (PBMCs). Jurkat cells are commonly used for immunological studies, while PBMCs contain HTLV-1’s normal target cell.

Copies of the p12 gene were transferred into both cell types. Then the genes were activated as they would be during HTLV-1 infection, causing the cells to produce p12 and IL-2. After several days, the cultured cells produced twice the level of IL-2 compared to control cells, and the normal lymphocytes produced levels six-fold higher than controls.

“A similar two-to-six fold increase in IL-2 production by infected T cells during normal HTLV-1 infection in the body would lead to a significant increase in lymphocyte numbers in the blood,” says Lairmore.

“Overall, our evidence suggests that this protein plays a vital role in early HTLV-1 infection.”


Contact: Darrell E. Ward, (614) 293-3737; Ward-15@medctr.osu.edu

Darrell E. Ward | OSU
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/htlvil2.htm
http://www.acs.ohio-state.edu/units/research/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | 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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>