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 Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solar Collectors from Ultra-High Performance Concrete Combine Energy Efficiency and Aesthetics

16.01.2017 | Trade Fair News

3D scans for the automotive industry

16.01.2017 | Automotive Engineering

Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs

16.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>