Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Penn researchers shine the light of venus to learn how the herpes virus invades cells

17.12.2007
University of Pennsylvania researchers have uncovered an important step in how herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, uses cooperating proteins found on its outer coat to gain entry into healthy cells and infect them. Further, the study’s authors say, they have demonstrated the effectiveness of monitoring these protein interactions using biomolecular complementation.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide a better understanding of the mechanism that viruses use to conquer healthy cells.

Beginning with the knowledge that HSV-1 glycoprotein gD binds to cell receptors in a healthy cell to begin virus-cell fusion, researchers questioned how other proteins combined or cooperated on the attack. They “tagged” additional HSV-1 proteins with a fluorescent marker to witness the complex battle, thus demonstrating that gD somehow signals to three other herpes proteins -- gB, gH and gL -- to swing into action, continuing fusion and ultimately releasing the viral genome into the cell. Once in the cell, the viral genome takes over and directs the cell to make more virus.

“Watching these proteins interact tells us a lot about HSV and other herpes viruses and how they attack the body,” Roselyn Eisenberg, professor of microbiology in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said. “The first thing this virus does when it finds a cell is fool the cell into thinking the virus is a welcome guest when it is actually a dangerous intruder. But getting in is not easy. It takes four viral proteins to do it, and they must cooperate with each other in ways that we are only beginning to understand.”

... more about:
»Herpes »Interaction »Viral »shine

Monitoring the interactions required a novel technique. Researchers assumed in their hypothesis that these proteins had to physically interact with each other but could not demonstrate the split-second interaction. Penn researchers hypothesized that the encounter might be too brief and decided to look for ways to “freeze” it long enough to take a snapshot.

Knowing that virus-cell fusion starts when gD binds to a cell receptor, these researchers monitored the remaining protein interactions using bimolecular complementation, a newly developed process that employs, in this case, a protein called Venus. Venus, like the planet, shines brightly against a dark background. Researchers split the yellow Venus protein in two, creating tags which were stitched to either gB or gH, the proteins they believed played a role in fusion. When Venus is split in half, it no longer glows yellow. But when half-Venus-gB and half-Venus-gH combine, even very briefly as they do, the two halves of Venus interact and shine again.

The team used microscopy to look for the viral protein-protein interactions during fusion and thus found that fusion requires proteins gB, gH and gL, called the “core fusion machinery” of all herpes viruses.

“This is a complex mechanism we’re looking at,” Gary Cohen, professor of microbiology in Penn’s School of Dental Medicine, said. “We still have a long way to go but this is a major step forward for us and the field, and now we have a new toy to play with to help us with a whole new set of questions. That is the fun of science: there is always another question. “

Jordan Reese | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu

Further reports about: Herpes Interaction Viral shine

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New technique for in-cell distance determination
19.03.2019 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Dalian Coherent Light Source reveals hydroxyl super rotors from water photochemistry
19.03.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>