Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Shape of a Protein That Helps Retroviruses Break into Cells
Retroviruses are among the trickier and more malicious disease agents, causing AIDS and cancers such as leukemia. The viruses manage to sneak into cells with the help of special protein assemblies scattered all over their surfaces. These retrovirus surface proteins cause the membrane envelope of the virus to fuse with the membrane of the cell, spilling virus RNA into the cell to wreak damage. Now, a team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry has obtained a close-up 3-D portrait of the large protein complex on the virus that enables its entry into the cell. Their work appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA in March.
These protein complexes recognize and bind to specific sites on the cellular membrane and mediate the fusion process, the first steps in virus infection. However, the shape of this complex on retroviruses and the way that it works had long evaded efforts at detection by various scientific groups. The difficulty is that crystallization, the leading method of preparing proteins for structure solving, does not work well with the elaborate, envelope-bound complexes, which tend to fall apart when they are removed from the virus membrane. Dr. Deborah Fass of the Weizmann Institute’s Structural Biology Department had managed to determine the structures of assorted parts of the complex in the past, but needed a better understanding of how the complex works as a whole.
Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News