Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Retroviral Protein Triggers Proliferation Of Immune Cells

Date:
October 23, 2003
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Scientists here have found that a protein in the retrovirus known as human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause immune cells to divide and proliferate, helping the virus spread through the body.

Columbus, Ohio – Scientists here have found that a protein in the retrovirus known as human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) can cause immune cells to divide and proliferate, helping the virus spread through the body.

The protein, known as p12, was formerly thought to be unimportant during infection, causing scientists to regard it as a nonessential "accessory gene."

This new study, however, shows that the protein forces infected cells to produce interleukin 2 (IL-2), a substance that stimulates the growth and proliferation of immune cells known as T lymphocytes, or T cells, which are the virus's chief target. The study was published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Virology.

"Our findings help explain why lymphocytes divide and proliferate in people following HTLV-1 infection," says lead investigator Michael D. Lairmore, professor and chair of veterinary biosciences, professor of molecular virology and associate director for basic sciences at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. "The findings also support the view that this virus replicates mainly by causing infected cells to divide and proliferate rather than by generating more virus particles."

The study provides insight into the biology of HTLV-1 and the changes lymphocytes undergo as they become cancerous. The findings also may lead to safer, more effective drugs to treat the leukemias, lymphoma, and autoimmune-like diseases caused by the virus.

HTLV-1 infects 15 to 25 million people worldwide, particularly in Japan and in the Caribbean region. It specifically attacks immune cells known as CD4 lymphocytes, where it inserts its genome, or genetic material, permanently into a chromosome. In some people the virus causes adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, a cancer that responds poorly to treatment and that can cause death within six months of diagnosis. In others, it causes crippling and painful autoimmune-like disorders.

Lairmore and a team of colleagues tested the function of p12 in both laboratory-grown lymphocytes known as Jurkat T cells, and in normal human T lymphocytes, known as peripheral blood mononuclear lymphocytes (PBMCs). Jurkat cells are commonly used for immunological studies, while PBMCs contain HTLV-1's normal target cell.

Copies of the p12 gene were transferred into both cell types. Then the genes were activated as they would be during HTLV-1 infection, causing the cells to produce p12 and IL-2. After several days, the cultured cells produced twice the level of IL-2 compared to control cells, and the normal lymphocytes produced levels six-fold higher than controls.

"A similar two-to-six fold increase in IL-2 production by infected T cells during normal HTLV-1 infection in the body would lead to a significant increase in lymphocyte numbers in the blood," says Lairmore.

"Overall, our evidence suggests that this protein plays a vital role in early HTLV-1 infection."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Retroviral Protein Triggers Proliferation Of Immune Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031023070706.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2003, October 23). Retroviral Protein Triggers Proliferation Of Immune Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031023070706.htm
Ohio State University. "Retroviral Protein Triggers Proliferation Of Immune Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031023070706.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins