Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene with key role in replicating pox viruses also halts inflammation

07.04.2004


Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying vaccinia virus, a close relative of smallpox, have determined that a gene necessary for virus replication also has a key role in turning off inflammation, a crucial anti-viral immune response of host cells.



The discovery, reported this month in the Journal of Virology, potentially broadens the knowledge base of how all poxviruses cause disease and how they may be outwitted by improvements in vaccines against them, said Joanna L. Shisler, a professor of microbiology in the College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

"If we can find out how the virus evades immune responses and learn more about the signals the virus sees as necessary for replicating within the host cell, then we can figure out how to inhibit them and halt the viral replication," she said.


Post 9-11 fears of bioterrorism by means of the deliberate introduction of smallpox have spawned renewed interest in new, safer vaccines against the deadly disease, which was eradicated as a naturally occurring danger in 1977. Some U.S. medical workers and military personnel have received vaccinations made of the live vaccinia virus, but while this tamer relative of smallpox normally doesn’t cause disease, complications, including death, are possible especially among immune-compromised individuals.

The vaccinia virus genome is 97 percent genetically identical to the smallpox genome, making it an ideal model virus to use in the laboratory to understand how smallpox and other dangerous poxviruses function, Shisler said.

In their research, Shisler and Xiao-Lu Jin, a research specialist in microbiology, found that a 5.2 kb segment of vaccinia virus DNA containing six genes was responsible for inhibiting a key cellular transcription factor called NF kappa B (NF-kB).

NF-kB serves to turn on other host cell genes involved in anti-viral immune responses and inflammation.

The researchers then sought to determine what specific genes in the segment inhibit NF-kB activation. To carry out the study, they introduced individual genes from the 5.2kb segment into a mutant poxvirus vector that activates NF-kB.

They infected human and rabbit cell lines with the new recombinant viruses and detected NF-kB activity levels. They found that the recombinant virus containing the introduced K1L gene prevented degradation of the cellular inhibitor of NF-kB, therefore inhibiting NF-kB’s ability to ignite immune responses.

Since the 1980s it was known that K1L was necessary for vaccinia virus replication. The additional function of K1L, as determined in the new study, suggests that poxviruses may need to turn NF-kB on and off at crucial times to regulate replication.

Understanding the molecular machinery involved may make it possible to eventually manufacture safer vaccines for smallpox and vaccinia-based vaccines for HIV by specifically manipulating genes, Shisler said.

Because the K1L gene inhibited NF-kB activation in numerous cell lines tested, it suggests that its activity is global. Since this study was completed, the researchers subsequently have found a second protein that inhibits NF-kB, suggesting there may be multiple genes at work, Shisler said.

"These viral proteins are present in smallpox, monkey pox and many other poxes, and they are very homologous," she said. "If we know how these proteins function, we can start figuring out why smallpox and monkey pox cause disease."


The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, funded the research.

Jim Barlow | UIUC
Further information:
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/04/0406poxgene.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>