Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017

Zika virus hijacks genetic program that signals developing neural cells to multiply and specialize

Zika virus (ZIKV) interferes with the cellular machinery controlling cell division and alters the expression of hundreds of genes guiding the formation and development of neurons and astrocytes, according to findings released on January 23rd 2017 at Scientific Reports.


Human neural stem cells are the main target of Zika virus infection. Immunofluorescence of neural stem cells, nuclei are in yellow, cytoplasm in pink.

Credit: D'Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR)

Several evidences indicate that ZIKV infection is associated with microcephaly -- a condition in which baby's head is abnormally small, often because the brain has not developed properly -- and other fetal brain defects. Despite the association, cellular alterations caused by the virus are largely unknown.

"Elucidate the underpinnings of ZIKV infection is very important to develop tools to combat it", points Stevens Rehen, head of the study and scientist at both D' Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) and Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

In a previous study published in Science, the same Brazilian scientists noticed that the pool of infected neural stem cells was completely depleted after one week. In the present study, they decided to explore how neural cells react to ZIKV infection before dying. To do so, human neural cells were exposed to a strain of ZIKV collected from a Brazilian patient and coaxed to become neurospheres, organized aggregates of neural cells resembling fetal brain tissue.

By means of state-of-the-art techniques, researchers evaluated the interactome map - a whole set of molecular interactions - of the infected neural cells in order to understand the ZIKV-related impairment on cellular metabolism.

To identify the molecular fingerprints of the ZIKV infection, the authors investigated gene and protein expression in both infected and non-infected cells.

The analysis revealed more than 500 genes/proteins altered in the infected developing brain cells. A few of them associated with DNA damage and chromosomal instability, such as aneuploidy. Others, normally active during cellular division, were silenced in infected cells, thwarting their ability to multiply.

In addition, genes driving cell specialization were repressed in ZIKV infected cells. As a result, neural cells lacked the guidance to differentiate into specialized brain cells.

Also, a common strategy employed by viruses when infecting cells was observed: factors involved in viral replication were upregulated.

According to Patricia Garcez, Assistant Professor at the UFRJ and author of the study: "these findings provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of ZIKV infection and likely explain some of the consequences seen on brain formation and function at these crucial points of brain development".

###

The study was conducted at IDOR, in collaboration with colleagues from UFRJ, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Evandro Chagas Institute, Institute Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ) and Federal University of Para. Funding was provided by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES); Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (FINEP); National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); Foundation for Research Support in the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ); Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).

Media Contact

Stevens Rehen
stevens.rehen@idor.org
55-213-883-6000

 @institutodor

www.idor.org 

Stevens Rehen | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>