Scientists have discovered a new way for our immune system to combat the elusive virus responsible for cold sores: Type 1 herpes simplex (HSV-1).
As reported in the advance online edition of Nature Immunology, a group of virus hunters from the Université de Montréal, in collaboration with American colleagues, have identified a cellular process that seeks out and fights herpes.
The five-year study, partially supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was a joint project with Washington University and Pennsylvania State University.
"Once human cells are infected with Type 1 herpes simplex, the virus comes back because it hides and blocks protection from our immune system," says Luc English, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at the Université de Montréal's Department of Pathology and Cell Biology. "For the first time, our research team has indentified a combative cellular mechanism in this game of hide-and-seek."
"We've found that the nuclear membrane of an infected cell can unmask Type 1 herpes simplex and stimulate the immune system to disintegrate the virus," says English.
The team made its discovery while conducting various tests in HSV-1 infected mice cells. They replicated environments when Type 1 herpes simplex thrives, namely periods of low-grade fever between 38.5 to 39 degrees, and found that herpes-fighting mechanisms were unleashed.
The research team now plans to study how activation of the herpes-combating cellular process could be applied to other illnesses. The outcome could hasten the development of therapies to prevent other immune-evading bacteria, parasites and viruses. "Our goal is to further study the molecules implicated in this mechanism to eventually develop therapies against diseases such as HIV or even cancer," says English.
According to Dr. Michel Desjardins, senior author and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology at the Université de Montréal, treatment options might be imaginable in a decade.
"Now that we've identified the novel mechanism in cells that activate immune response to Type 1 herpes simplex, scientists are one step closer to creating new treatments that can activate the defence against this and other viruses," says Dr. Desjardins. "While it may not be possible to completely eradicate Type 1 herpes simplex in people who are already infected, at the very least, future therapies may be able to keep the virus in its dormant state."
Partners in research:
This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the foundation Research to Prevent Blindness.
There are two types of herpes viruses: Type 1 herpes simplex causes facial cold sores and Type 2 causes genital herpes. Both types of herpes affect an estimated 80 million people in America alone and there is currently no cure for the condition.
About the study:
The paper, "Autophagy enhances the presentation of endogenous viral antigens on MHC class I molecules during HSV-1 infection," published in Nature Immunology, was produced by Luc English, Magali Chemali, Johanne Duron, Christiane Rondeau, Annie Laplante, Diane Gingras, Roger Lippe and Michel Desjardins of the Université de Montréal in collaboration with Diane Alexander and David Leib of Washington University and Christopher Norbury of Pennsylvania State University.
On the Web:About Nature Immunology: www.nature.com/ni/index.html
Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > Cancer > HIV > HSV-1 > Herpes > Immunology > Nature Immunology > cell death > cellular mechanism > cellular process > herpes simplex > herpes-combating cellular process > herpes-fighting mechanisms > immune system > immune-evading bacteria > parasites > synthetic biology > type 1 herpes simplex > viruses
In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin
How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy