Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers create infectious hepatitis C virus in a test tube

10.06.2005


Method enables scientists to study all stages of virus’ life cycle

A team of researchers led by scientists at The Rockefeller University has produced for the first time an infectious form of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in laboratory cultures of human cells. The finding, reported in the June 9 issue of Science Express, will allow scientists to study every stage of the HCV life cycle and develop drugs to treat this life-threatening disease that affects more than 170 million people around the world. "The inability to reproduce aspects of the hepatitis C virus life cycle in cell culture has slowed research progress on this important human pathogen," says senior author Charles M. Rice, Ph.D., Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at Rockefeller.

"This system lays the foundation for future test tube studies of the virus life cycle and may help in the development of new drugs for combating HCV," adds Rice, who is the scientific director of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, a collaborative research and clinical effort of Rockefeller, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and New York- Presbyterian Hospital



Like all viruses, HCV cannot replicate by itself; instead it takes over the machinery of a host cell to make copies of itself. Much about the life cycle of HCV remains poorly understood because scientists have been unable to reproduce an infectious form of HCV that they can observe in cell cultures. The method developed by Rice and his colleagues, including scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Scripps Research Institute, changes that. "The hallmark of viruses is their ability to exist in a form outside the host cell capable of infecting new cells," says first author Brett Lindenbach, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Rice’s lab. "Our method replicates and produces virus particles that can infect new cells, initiating replication in them and leading to the production of more virus particles."

Although little is know about the HCV life cycle, researchers think that in humans the virus enters a liver cell and delivers its RNA and proteins into the cell cytoplasm. HCV carries its genetic information in its RNA, which is separated from the protein, copied, and then joined with new protein components before being released from the liver cell to infect other cells. Lindenbach, Rice and their colleagues named their infectious cell culture virus HCVcc. Already HCVcc is yielding new knowledge about HCV. In a separate set of experiments, the researchers used HCVcc to confirm that a molecule called CD81, which sits on the surface of the human cell membrane, plays a crucial role in the entry of HCV.

Scientists have known that a protein produced by HCV, called E2, binds to CD81, and they believed that this interaction is necessary for the virus to bind to target cells. The Rockefeller researchers showed that CD81 molecules that are not attached to the surface of host cells compete with membrane-bound CD81 and inhibit entry of HCV into the cell. They also showed that HepG2 cells, which do not express CD81 but can support HCV RNA replication, could not be infected by HCVcc unless they express CD81.

Liver failure due to hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States, and about 25 percent of liver cancer cases in the country are associated with HCV. Although about 85 percent of those who are infected develop chronic infection, the virus usually remains undetected for years, or even decades, until it causes advanced liver disease.

Joseph Bonner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rockefeller.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>