Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Subterfuge, counter-surveillance and assassination: scientists reveal the body’s fight with cervical cancer

25.03.2008
The virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer has a serious weakness which may provide hope for new treatments for the disease.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a virus which causes several types of cancer but is particularly associated with cervical cancer, has developed clever ways of hiding in the body, but researchers at the University of Leeds have found that its ability to trick the body’s first line of defence leaves it vulnerable to attack from a second defence system.

When viruses enter cells, they produce proteins to assist their growth and replication, and the body’s immune system is programmed to recognise and attack these non-native proteins.

Professor Eric Blair of the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences and Dr Graham Cook from the Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine have been specifically looking at one of the proteins produced by HPV, called E7, and have discovered that it suppresses markers on the cell surface, making infected cells much less visible to T cells, one of the body’s key defence systems.

... more about:
»HPV »Protein »cervical »mechanism

“T cells can normally tell when there are molecules in the body that shouldn't be there and activate an immune response,” says Professor Blair. “But HPV uses the E7 protein to hide from them. We've always known the virus has clever ways of defending itself, but we now know how one of its main defence mechanism works.”

However, in a twist that offers hope for the development of potential new therapies for cervical cancer, Professor Blair and Dr Cook have also discovered that this subterfuge may be the virus’s downfall.

Cells without surface protein markers are targeted by another of the body’s white blood cell armoury, Natural Killer cells - cellular assassins, which when activated, release specialised enzymes into target cells to kill them.

“Despite the body’s valiant efforts to ward off the virus, women are still contracting this awful disease, so there are clearly other mechanisms at work. We need to look at the role of the other components of the virus, to see if they prevent the Natural Killer cells from attacking,” says Professor Blair. “For example, we’ve started examining the contribution of the virus protein E6, which we believe works in partnership with E7. The recent introduction of a vaccine against HPV is an important development in the fight against cervical cancer. However, it may take many years for the vaccine to reduce the number of cases of this cancer and other approaches to eliminating tumour cells need to be discovered.”

This research was funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the charity’s Chief Executive, Elaine King commented: “Human Papillomavirus is extremely complex with many mechanisms affecting how it operates. However, through this research we have discovered how the E7 protein works, which is a huge step forward, and will hopefully help us to develop effective ways to combat Human Papillomavirus in the future.”

Jo Kelly | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk

Further reports about: HPV Protein cervical mechanism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

nachricht Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance
16.08.2018 | Howard Hughes Medical Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

3D inks that can be erased selectively

16.08.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>