The idea that MMTV is involved in human breast cancer has been around for over 50 years. In the 1990s, researchers detected MMTV in human breast tumors, but not in healthy breast tissue. The link between MMTV and human breast cancer was contentious though, as some scientists believed the presence of MMTV in tumors was caused by contamination rather than infection.
However, two years ago, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Austrianova Biotechnology and the Christian-Doppler Laboratory for Gene Therapeutic Vector Development, all based in Vienna, Austria, showed that MMTV does actually infect human cells.
Now, they have added to these findings with this latest study, which shows that MMTV can replicate in cultured human breast cells. The new virus particles produced by the infected cells enabled the virus to spread rapidly, leading to the infection of every cell in culture.
"It has recently been shown convincingly that MMTV can infect human cells. Often, however, viruses infect cells but cannot replicate further. If they can replicate, the chances that they cause disease may be increased," says Dr Stanislav Indik from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna and one of the study's authors.
There are a number of questions still to be answered before a concrete role of MMTV in human breast cancer is established, including whether MMTV can infect primary cells - those taken directly from the body, not from a cultured cell line. Also, researchers plan to investigate how the virus spreads from mice to humans, and to examine if one of the possible outcomes of human MMTV infection is breast cancer.
MMTV is a retrovirus, the same kind of virus as HIV. If MMTV is eventually found to play a role in human breast cancer, current treatments for HIV may also be effective against MMTV.
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel
The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering